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Recently I cam across an old booklet about the original Ballou settlers of northeastern Rhode Island, explaining the nature of their early homes and properties, with as much information about the location of each property as could be gleaned in 1914.  The booklet is:

The Ballou Pioneer Settlers of the Second Generation in the Louisquisset Country

and How They Lived

An Address delivered by

Col. Dal’l R Ballou

Before the Annual Meeting of the

Ballou Family Association of America

Held on September 5, 1914

Clearly, the author had relied a great deal on Adin Ballou’s An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous in America, published in 1888, for his genealogical information (he refers to it as the “Ballou Book”).  But for the house information, one can tell he visited each location (probably just prior to this publication, in 1914) and gives some updated information about how to find the properties.

For someone obsessed with the location of ancestral homes, like me, these clues will be worth exploring some day.  I am copying the text of pages 5 – 16 here, so please note I did not write this.  THESE FACTS AND LANDMARKS ARE FROM 1914, one hundred years ago.  In the hopes that they might help someone today, I am placing them here where they will be picked up in searches.

note: I have omitted, here, the beginning and ending of the essay.  At the beginning of the booklet some rather grand claims are offered about the characteristics of all Ballous throughout history.  Towards the end of the piece, the author waxes nostalgic about olden times, quilting bees, and (for two pages) contrasted the table manners of children of yore to the present-day children of his time.  So I have chosen to limit this version to pages 5 – 16 only. The author also mentions the ancestors of President James A. Garfield’s mother, who was a Ballou, and that remains in the text, below.  No doubt the Ballous were proud of that connection in 1914, and it’s still kind of cool today. All pictures are reproduced from Adin Ballou’s An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous in America, published in 1888, and placed rather randomly here.  The pictures are of more recent dwellings, not the pioneer dwellings. The full pamphlet can be found here.   

My relationship to the early Ballous is as follows – Maturin(1) – John(2) – John(3) – John(4) – Richard(5) – Mercy Ballou(6) – Nancy Ann Aldrich – Ellis Aldrich Darling – Addison Parmenter Darling – Russell Earl Darling – Edna May Darling (my grandmother).

The Ballou Pioneer Settlers, an Address by Col. Daniel R. Ballou, 1914

Mathurin Ballou1, the ancestor, died sometime between 1661 and 1663, leaving lands in what is now the town of Lincoln, then Providence, which were called the Out-lands, being grants made to the original grantees of lots in the town of Providence. When the surviving children John2, James2, Peter2 and Hannah2, came of age these lands, together with those inherited from their grandfather, Robert Pike, who had then deceased, were divided between them and their mother.  The three sons settled on their several portions about the year 1685. The evidences all point to the fact that James Ballou2 was the first of the three brothers to settle on the Louisquisset Outlands.  He was followed by Peter2, the youngest, and John2, the eldest Peter’s homestead was situated westerly from that of James2 and John’s2, southwesterly. Some portions of the Louisquisset country in which they settled were held in very high estimation by the Providence Proprietors and as early as 1658 a Committee was appointed to clear up some of its wild lands. There were some open meadows formed in many locations by beavers, which were capable, on being cleared, of producing very nutritious grasses for feeding cattle. The meadow south of the James Ballou2 domicile is one of those formed by beavers, which in earlier days was cleared and ditched by enterprising Ballou farmers, producing great crops of English hay.

John Ballou2 , born presumably about 1650, was the eldest son of Marturin, and lived a number of years previous to 1679 alternately in Providence and on the Island, either at Newport or Portsmouth. He married for his first wife, Hannah . . . . surname or parentage unascertained, neither is there any further information known concerning her save that John2 was divorced from her by decree of the General Assembly, which then exercised judicial powers, at Newport in 1676 on the ground of incompatibility of temper—now held to be an insufficient cause. It is interesting to note that in a family who were so conspicuously peaceful there was one military hero. John’ served in the Indian War and was wounded. The General Assembly, at its October Sessions in 1684, passed the following Resolution: John Ballou2 is allowed 3 pounds in or as money to be paid by the General Treasurer for his cure of his wound in the late Indian War.” He married a second wife, by name Hannah Garrett, or Jarrett, January 4, 1678-9. Six children were the issue of this marriage.

  • John3 born Aug. 26, 1683; married Naomi Inman Feb. 5. 1713-4.
  • Maturin3 born about 1685; married Sarah Arnold, 2nd Mary Cooper.
  • Peter3 born Aug. 1, 1689; married Rebecca Esten May 13, 1714.
  • Sarah’s3 birth date not found. No satisfactory information obtained concerning her.
  • Hannah3 …. no trace concerning her.
  • Abigail’s birth date not found; married John Albright June 7, 1713-

John2 died according to the best information obtainable in 1714, but no record of it has been disclosed. The place of his burial even is unknown. There is an ancient grave yard known as the Streeter burial ground in a lot east of the Streeter house on land which was a portion of the John Ballou3 farm. There are a number of graves in this ancient place of burial having rough head and foot stones as was the custom in early days. John2 may have been buried here but it is only conjecture.

John’s2 eldest son, John3, inherited the larger part of the paternal estate. The other two boys, Maturin’ and Peter’ having reached their majorities presumably soon, went out from the home roof to seek their fortunes and abiding places.

Peter3 settled on Observation Hill, now known as Stump Hill formerly in the town of Providence, later Smithfield, now Lincoln, a quarter of a mile south of Observation Brook, which formerly furnished power to Olney’s factory. The house of Peter3 is still standing, to which has been added another of brick, of more recent construction, known as the Israel Sayles house.

“The two separate houses of which it consists face south on the north-east spur of the hill above the present mill pond, formerly a meadow, on the Moshassuck River and commands a fine view up the valley to the north …  The brick house, while old, is not the first part of the structure in interest. That place is easily taken by the battered wooden affair which stands at the west of the group. This is unique, for it is a story-and-a-half house, two rooms wide, framed in the ancient manner : . . . The stone chimney of the house has long since gone. The hearth, or part of it, is still in place. The framing is good and still appears in the outer wall. The house was built, probably, by Peter Ballon3 (John2, Maturin1) in 1714, the year of his marriage to Rebecca Esten. With this date the house readily agrees. It could be older.”

The writer has quoted the above description which accords with his own personal inspection of the ancient house of Peter Ballou3 from The Genealogical Magazine published in September, 1905 by Eben Pitman, 26 Broad Street, Boston, Mass.

Peter3 may have cleared up his farm and built a log house previous to his marriage for his first dwelling, and the house now standing subsequently. At any rate the present house is the type of that period and is doubtless the oldest Ballou house extant in Rhode Island. Peter was the father of Elder Maturin Ballou, a devout Baptist preacher of early days, and from him has descended eleven Universalist ministers, among whom was the great Universalist preacher and divine, Hosea Ballou 1st, and Hosea Ballou 2nd, a distinguished Universalist minister, scholar and educator.

“These,” says Rev. Adin Ballou6 in the Ballou Book, “seem to be uncommonly rich findings for the Universalists to derive from one Calvinistic mine.”

Ballou Meeting House, from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p79

Ballou Meeting House, from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p79

The Peter Ballou3 house may be reached from Smithfield Avenue over the road leading to the left, just after entering the village of Saylesville coming from Providence, which skirts the westerly side of the mill pond; following this road to a point about a half mile distant the brick house that has been added to the ancient structure, which from this view point partially obscures the elder structure, is plainly visible on the heights to the left.

Maturin Ballou3, brother of Peter3, settled on the easterly slope of Observation Hill, now Stump Hill, in the partial wilderness, felled the trees and cleared up a farm which joined his brother Peter’s3 on the north. Maturin’s3 settlement was probably previous to Peter’s3, which was presumably during the year of his marriage in 1714. Maturin3 was about four years Peter’s3 senior, who was born in 1680, the record of which has been preserved, while no record of Maturin’s3 birth date, the date of his first marriage, nor that of the birth of their child have been found. There is a tradition among Maturin’s descendants that he first built a log-house for his dwelling and alongside of it a vegetable cellar, a quarter of a mile away from the site of the present house, on the easterly slope of a ravine extending in a south-easterly direction from a point a little easterly of the house, towards what is now known as Smithfield Avenue, leading from Providence to Saylesville. Two excavations, bearing the appearance of great age, are pointed out by members of the Ballou family, now in possession, on the easterly side of the ravine overlooking at its bottom a small brook and a fine spring of water. Later on a house of the type of Peter’s3 was built on the site of the present one, having a stone chimney and fire-place.

This ancient house was partially demolished, remodeled and enlarged late in the eighteenth century into the present ample mansion of the Colonial type in which the old part was reconstructed and retained in the new, in which can be seen its huge oaken beams.

The present house faces the south, occupying a commanding position on the easterly slope of the hill overlooking Saylesville and portions of Lonsdale, Valley Falls, Central Falls and Pawtucket. It is interesting to know that this ancient homestead now owned by Mr. Nelson Judson Ballou6, a great grandson of Maturin3, has remained in the uninterrupted possession of the Ballous, descendants of John Ballou2, for quite two hundred years or more.

Maturin Ballou House , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p63

Maturin Ballou House , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p63

The Maturin Ballou3 house about three-eighths of a mile away may be reached from the Smithfield Avenue, near Saylesville, over a road that skirts the easterly slope of the ravine above-mentioned, which road is but a short distance, going easterly, from the road leading from the Avenue to the Pawtucket Water Works on Stump Hill.

It is not quite clear where the dwelling of John Ballou3, brother of Maturin3 and Peter3, was located. According to the Ballou Book his dwelling was “near the homestead of his Uncle James2,” it being described as “closely adjacent to the Old Streeter Place.” If this is correct, it cannot be that he occupied the domicile of his father, John2, which was quite a mile away from his Uncle James’2 dwelling and about half a mile from the Streeter Place. The more rational presumption, no other site of his dwelling being known, is that he dwelt in the paternal domicile located on the westerly part of his farm, bordering on the highway leading from Albion to Georgiaville; the homestead of his grandfather, John2, and with which farm he endowed his son John4 on January 26, 1738-9. John3 made his will April 19, 1755, giving Peter4, his son, the remaining half of his homestead, known as the Streeter Place. He died December 7, 1765, aged 83 years. The Old Streeter House stood about fifty to seventy-five feet south of the present house, now owned by Herbert T. Blackinton and near a spring since walled up as a well. A new house was built in 1861, on the present site, and later remodeled by its present owner. Peter4 had a natural daughter Rhoda, upon whom he bestowed his name, devising to her under his will all his real estate and making her his residuary legatee and executrix.

Rhoda Ballou married George Streeter, since which time Peter’s4 domicile has been known as the “Streeter House.” The house is located on the left or westerly side of the Louisquisset Pike, so-called, about one mile north of Limerock, in the town of Lincoln.

John4 settled on the ancient John Ballou2 home farm of 100 acres given him by his father in 1738-9. The ancient house was situated easterly of the road leading from Albion to Georgiaville about three-eighths of a mile from the railroad crossing of the Providence and Woonsocket electric road in a southerly direction therefrom. John4 sold at various times before his death several portions of his inheritance, giving the remainder to his sons John5, Benjamin5 and Richard5. Richard5 deeded his part to Benjamin5 February 21, 1780 and settled in the northeast part of Cumberland. Benjamin5 and John5 long held theirs as tenants in common, but made partition of same in 1783. John5 subsequently sold his part of the inheritance from his father, which coming some time afterwards into the possession of Judge Thomas Mann, he demolished the ancient domicile said to have been that of John2. There is nothing left now to indicate that there was ever a home there save an old well in the lots, four or five hundred feet east from the highway, and two lone graves on a sharp rise of ground southerly from the old well, formerly marked by two red sandstone tombstones, the broken fragments of which are scattered over the disappearing mounds, serving as mutely pathetic witnesses of human neglect and the destroying hand of time. These stones were erected out of respect and reverence for the memory of John Ballou5 and his wife Sabella by Richard Olney, her natural son, who was always recognized and treated by John as his own son and whom he also made his heir. The stones bear the names respectively of John Ballou5, died February 18, 1806, and Sabella Ballou, died December 20, 1805. Richard became a merchant in Burrillville and later in Providence, where he gained a competency. John5 and his wife sojourned with him for some time in Providence during their declining years. Returning to Smithfield they spent their remaining years in the family of his brother Benjamin5. Richard, having retired from business, removed to Oxford, Mass., where he lived and died a respected and influential citizen. Benjamin Ballou5, brother of John5, built the house standing on the right-hand side of the highway a few rods westerly from the crossing of the Albion road by the Providence and Woonsocket electric road on land deeded to him by his father, John4, in 1770. Benjamin’s daughter Mercy having later married Eleazer Mowry, the domicile came to be known as the Eleazer Mowry House.

James Ballou2, the second son of Maturin1, was born supposedly in 1652. He married Susanna Whitman July 25, 1683. Issue seven children, namely:

  • James3, born Nov. 1 , 1684; married Catherine Arnold Jan. 25, 1714, great-grandfather of Elizabeth Garfield, mother of President James A. Garfield.
Eliza Ballou Garfield , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p431

Eliza Ballou Garfield , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p431

  • Nathaniel3, born April 9, 1687; married Mary Lovett Dec. 7, 1716.
  • Obadiah3, born Sept. 6, 1689; married Damaris Bartlett, 2nd . . . . Salisbury.
  • Samuel3, born Jan. 23, 1692; married Susannah Arnold; 2nd, Mary Smith.
  • Susanna3, born Jan. 3, 1695; married John Inman; 2nd, Richard Sayles.
  • Bathsheba3, born Feb. 15, 1698; married Daniel Arnold Oct 16, 1720.
  • Nehemiah3, born Jan. 20, 1702; married. 1st, Mary Hall; 2nd, Abigail Perry.

James2 became an extensive land owner. His holdings were estimated to have been a thousand acres. With the estate conveyed to him by his mother and sister and his inheritance from his father and grandfather he became possessed of several hundred acres. He purchased lands in then Wrentham and Dedham, Mass., now Cumberland, of William Avery in 1690 and of Nathaniel Ware in 1706. James2 undertook, at the request of his mother, in her old age and growing infirmities, the care and keep of hcr and his sister Hannah2 during their lives, and in consideration of his undertaking, under an agreement in writing, his mother and sister conveyed to him all their properties. This transaction was very strongly disapproved by the eldest son, John2, who instituted legal proceedings for its annulment, which legal entanglement was inherited upon John’s2 death by his eldest son John3. It was fought out to a finish, James2 becoming fully exonerated by a final verdict  in his favor. It would seem injudicious in view of the outcome of this unfortunate family dispute for the descendants to re-open the case and fight it over again. It could serve no good purpose and add nothing to the history of the Ballou family.

The present Ballou house, built in 1782 by Moses Ballou is about one-half mile from the Streeter House, on the left hand side of the highway beyond, leading northerly to the village of Albion.

Nathaniel Ballou House , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p85

Nathaniel Ballou House, from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p85

Samuel3 bestowed by will upon his youngest sons Moses4 and Aaron4 the home farm. Moses4, in a division on April 6, 1777, took the homestead and Aaron took as his share the part to the north and east of the home farm. By agreement he shared with Moses4 for a few months after the division, the home house. Aaron, during the summer of 1777, built the house now standing on the left of the highway going east from the James Ballou2 house, in which he lived until 1794, when he sold his real estate to Rufus George and Samuel Hill, and for many years since known as the Job Mann place, into whose possession it subsequently came. The dwelling-house he built is now standing and owned and occupied by a Mr. Page, who has remodeled it. Subsequently, Aaron4 settled in Galway, Saratoga County, N. Y., where he died March 19, 1816. Moses4 and Aaron4 were twins and were said to so nearly resemble one another that it was difficult for persons outside the family to distinguish the one from the other. Tradition says that being very fond of each other they had their barns built sufficiently near together to enable them to converse from their doors. It is interesting to know that only about forty years ago there was no accepted town highway leading to the James Ballou2 home, only a private way in passing over which from the Streeter Place there were five gates to open and shut.

The James Ballou2 family burial ground is located on the low ground to right of the highway going northeasterly, leading to and but a short distance from the house. Here rest the mortal remains of James Ballou2, his son Samuel3 and grandson Moses4, together with their wives and children including also without doubt, those of Grandmother Hannah and her daughter Hannah2. The grandmother died the fore part of January, 1712, the daughter having died previously. That the grandmother was buried in the ancient grave-yard seems more than probable, by reason of the time of the year of her death, it being midwinter, together with the unsuitable character of transportation over the rough trails of that period.

James Ballou III House Cumberland , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p91

James Ballou III House Cumberland , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p91

The oak tree that stands on the edge of the ledge overlooking the grave-yard, whose gnarled branches are now decaying was, as Mrs. Abby Abercrombie5. granddaughter of Moses Ballou4 , says, a mature tree and in a flourishing condition in her childhood. It is altogether probable that this tree was standing there when James Ballou2, two centuries and a quarter ago, located his log-cabin home, the white oak being a tree that attains to a great age.

[… poem omitted here …]

Peter Ballou2 as already pointed out settled in Louisquisset about the year 1685 on his portion of the Outlands inherited from his father and grandfather Pike. His domicile, probably a log-cabin, was located on or near the site of the old Colonial house of the Mann family, and about one-half mile in a northwesterly direction from the Streeter place on the Louisquisset Pike, a few yards west from the highway. There is a tradition that a man who was a weaver lived there before Peter came, whose house was burned by the Indians during King Philip’s War. The spacious old Colonial house now occupying the premises was erected late in the eighteenth century, and was for many years during the staging era maintained as a hotel, in later years by Judge Thomas Mann, having been discontinued after the completion of the Providence and Worcester Railroad, in 1847. The place is now owned by William G. Rich, Esq. There is a cellar beneath one of the buttings in the rear of the house in which were formerly found numbers of Indian arrow-beads and other like relics, but here is no evidence that it was the site of Peter’s domicile although it may have been. Undoubtedly in the  immediate neighborhood of the present house, if not on its actual site, stood the house of Peter Ballou2.  Peter married Barbara … supposedly in 1695, her surname, parentage, birth date, together with marriage date, remaining unascertained. The marriage date of Peter2 is fixed by the death of Peter3, his eldest son, in 1717.  So far as known the issue of his marriage were seven children, namely:

  • Pter3 [sic], born probably in 1696 and drowned in Blackstone River in 1717. aged 21 years.
  • William3, birth date unknown, supposed to have died young.
  • Jeremiah3, birth date unknown; .named Isabella Ross.
  • Barbara3, birth date unknown; married Valentine Inman.
  • Phebe3, birth date unknown; married James King Dec. 10, 1719
  • Jemima3, birth date unknown; married David Sprague.
  • Martha3, birth date unknown; married John King.

The identity as well as record evidence of the family have been lost. Peter2 had a grandson by the name of Jeremiah4, a son of Jeremiah3. This grandson in some unaccountable way acquired the nickname of “Bumble Dorum”, by which name he was alone known, the meaning of which remains an unsolved mystery. This Bumble Dorum, who was a mechanic, went accompanied by his son Joseph R5. to Hartford (either in New York or Conn.) about 1823 for the purpose of either making or setting up some machinery, taking with them some baggage, among which was the fami y Bible containing important data, together with other book, and papers, which were lost, so that very little information concerning Peter’s2 family is available.

The story was told by Mr. Peck, a patron of the Ballou Book, by a Mr. Keach, husband of Bumble Dorum’s daughter, Betsy Ballou5, who lived in Lawrence, N. Y., that the former’s sons, Joseph R.5 and Jeremiah5, while in Lawrence making and putting up some spinning frames, suddenly and secretly left and were never heard from; although it was humored among relatives that Jeremiah5 was seen afterward in Buffalo. Statements of other relatives purport that they were murdered for their money.

The death of his son was a severe blow, as well as a bitter discouragement to Peter2, who had very much relied upon his assistance in making certain important improvements on his farm. He had projected extensive plans for reclaiming certain beaver meadows capable of producing nutritious grasses for his cattle, through which Crook Falls Brook runs, and which now serves as a conduit for the Woonsocket water supply. For that purpose he had partially built a dam, known to this day as “Peter’s Dam,” the ruins of which may be seen a short distance from the Louisquisset Pike going north from Peter’s homestead at the bridge on the road leading from the Pike to the Woonsocket Water Works Reservoir.  A short distance above the dam,  amid a tangle of bush and briers, may be seen the ruins of an ancient beaver dam.

So greatly disheartened was Peter and so grief-striken were both himself and his wife, that it was decided to sell the farm and seek another domicile. He found a purchaser in Daniel Mann on April 7, 1718, and on the next day a deed was executed by John Darlie conveying to him his homestead containing with its right of common, 60 acres situated in the town of Scituate. The exact site of Peter Ballou’s2 homestead in Scituate is somewhat obscure, its location here mainly derived from imperfect descriptions contained in the early land records of the town of Providence and Scituate. As nearly as can be determined from these scant records Peter’s2 farm was located about one mile and a quarter southerly from North Scituate, on the westerly side of Moswausicut River, in the neighborhood of what is now known as Parker’s Crossing, on the Providence and Danielson Railroad and is entirely west of the seven-mile line. It appears from the land records of the town of Providence that the proprietors laid out to Nathan, Joseph and Job Waterman, in 1724, 176 acres of land on both sides of Moswausicut River, and which is mentioned in later deeds as “a little east of Jeremiah Ballou3, in Scituate” – to whom Peter2, his father, devised by will all his real estate. Jeremiah 3 sold the homestead on February 26, 1746, subsequent to the death of his mother, to John Potter, of Scituate, describing it in part in the deed as bounded beginning, “on the easterly corner with a poplar tree marked, standing on the easterly side of the river and is also a corner of the Waterman land” … “Containing by estimation 127 acres in all, excepting two rods square of land which I reserve for a burying place where said burying place now is.” This reservation was evidently the burial ground of his father  and mother.

Daniel Mann, who purchased of Peter his Smithfield farm, exchanged it with his brother John, who became the owner.  John Mann, who came into possession of Peter’s farm, was the grandfather of Judge Thomas Mann, a man of considerable importance in the old town of Smithfield.  Here John Mann, his son and grandson, lived and died.  The farm subsequently descended to Stafford Mann, one of the Judge’s sons. The Mann family is entitled to the most appreciative acknowledgments from the Ballous for having always sacredly protected the grave of Peter Ballou’s2 son, they having built a substantial fence of stone posts and iron rods enclosing the square of land reserved by Peter2 for the resting place of his lamented son.

There is very little information at hand concerning members of Peter’s family except Jeremiah3, to whom Peter2 devised his real estate, and who married Isabelle Ross, of Gloucester.  Peter2 died September 1, 1731, aged about 77 years, leaving quite a large landed estate but only a modest personal property according to the inventory filed by his executor. Jeremiah3 dwelt on the homestead until the death of his mother, when he sold it to John Potter, on February 2b, 1746. Peter’s2 son Jeremiah3 was a land speculator, buying land and selling it in various localities.  He was not a successful trader, finally losing all his property and becoming broken down with the infirmities of old age.

Nathaniel Ballou House , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p85

Nathaniel Ballou House , from An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous, p85

The author, Daniel Ross Ballou, was a Civil War veteran, prominent Providence attorney, and served as an officer of several Civil War commemorative organizations. His name is sometimes listed alongside my uncle, William Wilberforce Douglas, making me think they would have known each other both within the Civil War organizations, and in legal and political circles.

Col Dan'l Ross Ballou, author of the address reproduced in this post.  Portrait from  Proceedings of the Ballou Family Association of Amertca, First Meeting, 1908.

Col Dan’l Ross Ballou, 1837-1923, author of the address reproduced in this post. Portrait from Proceedings of the Ballou Family Association of America, First Meeting, 1908.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/01/19/the-ballou-pioneer-settlers/

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My recent DNA matches to other descendants of the Andrews family of East Greenwich, Rhode Island helped me to realize that I had found the correct origins for my ggg-grandmother Hannah Andrews, but left many important gaps in my information.  I am related to Hannah in the following way:  my grandmother Edna May Darling – her father Russell E Darling – his mother Emma L Lamphere – her mother Hannah Andrews.  Hannah’s parents are Jesse Andrews and Sarah Arnold.

This branch of the tree looks like this:

pedigree chart of my gggg-grandfather Jesse Andrews

pedigree chart of my gggg-grandfather Jesse Andrews

Although Hannah’s parents are Jesse Andrews (son of Phillip) and Sarah Arnold (daughter of Joseph) who married in 1795 in Warwick, Rhode Island, there are several problems with Hannah’s tree:

  • I am not even showing Jesse’s wife Sarah Arnold’s family here, because I have a theory they are Joseph Arnold and Dinah Wightman, but I am far from proving that. Arnold was a very common name, and there were at least four Joseph Arnolds in the second half of the 1700’s in Warwick, and possibly six or eight. The ancestors of Joseph and Dinah are a Who’s Who of early Warwick – Greenes, Holdens, Wightmans, and Gortons – but so far, nothing is proven yet.
  • Jesse’s mother is named Freelove, and was the head of household in Warwick for several decades after the (apparent) death of her husband Philip, sometimes next to Jesse Andrews and Joseph Arnold.  Freelove’s family is unknown to me.
  • The Andrews ancestors appear in all parts of Philip’s tree, and their genealogy was compiled by Harriet Francis James.  I have studied her work at the Rhode Island Historical Society in two forms – a scrapbook of columns she wrote late in life for a local newspaper about the Andrews genealogy, and a more formally compiled version of her work produced by Anthony Tarbox Briggs and published in a few small volumes.  Many of the early Andrews appear in local vital, land, and military records.

I don’t want to lose my opportunity at the Family History Library in February to move this along, so I have been working on three particular problems.

1.  Is Jesse’s mother really Freelove?  What evidence can I find?

The idea that Jesse’s mother was named Freelove came from the fact that she was located next to Jesse in the 1810 census in Warwick, and also appeared in the 1790 census as a head of household. Other evidence such as vital records had eluded me. Rhode Island research can always be assisted by consulting the R.I. Genealogical Society’s Rhode Island Roots, available now on the NEHGS website.  I went to Advanced Search:

http://www.americanancestors.org/search/advanced-search/

and chose Category: Journal and Periodicals, and Database: Rhode Island Roots.

Previously I had been making use of my old CD of volumes 1 – 30 of Rhode Island Roots.  So the NEHGS digital compilation (which covers volumes 1 – 34, and will remain about 5 years out in the future, I believe) was the first time I saw an index for volume 31.  An article by Cherry Fletcher Bamburg appeared in volume 31, March, 2005, p. 33 – 39, “Warwick Residency Certificates, 1737-1820.”  The author explained the meaning of “warnings out” and her discovery of “a folder of the original residency certificates at Warwick City Hall.” A transcription of the certificates followed.

Freelove’s entry (p. 36) reads:

For:  Freelove Andrew, widow of Philip, and ch. of Philip Andrew   From:  Coventry    Date:  8 Dec. 1787

This was a huge discovery for me, because it was the only time I had seen her name connected with Philip (no marriage record has been found).  Philip had died by February, 1786 when son Christopher “son of Mr Philip Andrews, decd” was married by Elder John Gorton (Elder John Gorton and the Six Principle Baptist Church of East Greenwich, Rhode Island by Cherry Fletcher Bamburg, RIGS, 2001, p. 325).  How long was Freelove in Coventry?  Had her husband Philip been there with her prior to his death, or did she go there after his death, perhaps to be near her own family?

Philip often performed military service in the 1760’s and 1770’s and he may have had other lines of work, but I don’t know.  Philip was enumerated in a military census in Warwick in 1777, and, according to cards in the Revolutionary War index at the Rhode Island State Archives, and muster rolls on Fold3, he served during most of the Revolutionary War and was in Col. Topham’s regiment as late as 1780.  So his death occurred between 1780 and 1786.

Philip Andrews on Major Chirstopher Manchester's Company Muster Roll, 1780. NARA M246. Muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other miscellaneous personnel, pay, and supply records of American Army units, 1775-83. Folder 58, p. 93. Roll 88, Rhode Island. Found on Fold3.com.

Philip Andrews on Major Christopher Manchester’s Company Muster Roll, 1780. NARA M246. Muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other miscellaneous personnel, pay, and supply records of American Army units, 1775-83. Folder 58, p. 93. Roll 88, Rhode Island. Accessed on Fold3.com.

I have already learned from Gleanings from Rhode Island Town Records: Early Coventry Records, compiled by Catherine Hey and published as the 2010 Special Bonus Issue of Rhode Island Roots, that Phillip Andrews was taxed in Coventry in 1768 (p. 126) and 1769 (p. 130).  Author Catherine Hey provides an interesting preface about the origins of early Coventry, which was set off from Warwick in 1741, and notes about the record sets.

At the Family History Library, I will be exploring records (particularly deeds) for Coventry, Rhode Island, but I suspect a visit to Coventry town hall will also be needed.

2.  What was Freelove’s maiden name? 

Freelove was a fairly common name in Warwick, so it may or may not be a clue.  I am using twoforms of attack on the problem of finding Freelove’s family.

Explore in full her husband’s Andrews tree.  This has been very interesting.  The Andrews were quite intermarried with each other (not complaining, I think that helped me find so many matches to them in mom’s DNA).  The nearest non-Andrews ancestors to Philip were his two grandmothers, Rebecca Sweet and Judith Matteson.  I have not gotten too far with reliable information on the Sweets, and I have compiled a list of sources I will be using at the Family History Library and the Rhode Island Historical Society Library.  But the Mattesons were easier to explore.  Apparently the original immigrant, Henry Matteson, came from Denmark.  The Mattesons, Weavers, and Andrews first appeared on the Portsmouth/Newport side of Rhode Island, and moved on to North Kingstown/East Greenwich/Warwick in the late 1600’s.  I need to examine the Andrews sources again, and I’ll have another post after I do, but it seems clear these families intermarried a lot and they are NOT the same families I am seeing in the Arnold line I’m investigating as Sarah’s family.

Look at the trees of my mother’s DNA connections where the link seems likely to be early Warwick/East Greenwich R.I. families.  Obviously, I don’t necessarily trust the trees of these matches, but I review them and do some exploring on my own. I paid attention to trees where the particular branch I am likely to be related to was obvious, and also used the matrix, common matches, and comparison tools in Family Tree DNA.  These are new to me so I spent a lot of time just figuring things out.  For this I only paid attention to “Longest Block” matches of 10 cM or more.

By searching for some early Warwick names among the ancestors of mom’s matches, I found that mom was related to two people descended from a Rice/Stafford/Greene/Wightman family of early North Kingstown, R.I.  Those people were cousins to each other, so it’s no coincidence their trees matched.  This is how they matched mom’s DNA (along with one additional person) – the match is roughly 13 cM, on Chromosome 11:

Three people that match mom, viewed in the Family Finder chromosome browser.

Three people that match mom, viewed in the Family Finder chromosome browser. The match is about a 13cM match.

I later found one or two others in this exact spot, but none had trees on Family Tree DNA.  It’s hard to know what to think, but a match with Wightmans/Greenes would support the theory I have about Sarah Arnold.  I suspect this little group is related to Jesse’s wife Sarah or his mother Freelove.  I find with my early Rhode Island or Massachusetts families that even fairly close matches turn out to be quite a ways back.  And more distant matches are not findable at all.

3.  The wife of Philip and Freelove’s son Christopher was Freelove Rice.  What can I learn from that relationship? 

Philip had, I believe, several siblings but I only know the name of one – Christopher Andrews.  Christopher married Freelove Rice of Warwick and moved to Pittstown, New York, and they are buried there.  The Rice family happens to have some excellent documentation.  Cherry Fletcher Bamburg published 4 articles on them in Rhode Island Roots:

  1. Bamburg, Cherry Fletcher.  “Major Henry Rice of Warwick and His Family.”  Rhode Island Roots 24 (March/June 1998): 1 – 60.
  2. Bamburg, Cherry Fletcher.  “John1 Rice of Warwick, Rhode Island.”  Rhode Island Roots 24 (September/December 1998): 153-168.
  3. Bamburg, Cherry Fletcher.  “John2 Rice, Jr.,  of Warwick, Rhode Island.”  Rhode Island Roots 25 (September 1999): 81-118.
  4. Bamburg, Cherry Fletcher.  “John2 Rice, Jr.,  of Warwick, Rhode Island (concluded).”  Rhode Island Roots 27 (March 2001): 1 – 26.

I printed these articles, placed them in a 3 ring folder, and have studied them carefully.  And that was good, because although I saw no solid links to a possible mother for Christopher, studying them helped me find something in the DNA matches.  It didn’t strike me at first, not until I had revisited the articles once again.

In the graphic above, several people matched mom in one spot.  On the tree associated with two female cousins, I see they are descended from Freelove’s grandparents, Capt. Randall Rice and Dinah Greene.  Their tree contains the same details as the articles mentioned above (Family Tree DNA trees do not show sources), giving me a bit of extra confidence in the work of these 2 cousins.  Their family descends from son Fones Rice, who married Susannah Havens (and my mom is unlikely to be descended from that couple, since they were in Clarendon, Vermont by 1775 according to article 4 (above), page 11).  The link to my mom could also possibly be in Susannah’s early Warwick family, but still, it is interesting to get a clue that mom could be related to Freelove Rice.  Freelove’s father is their son Job Rice.

Freelove Rice with her parents and grandparents.  Image from Family Tree Maker.

Freelove Rice with her parents and grandparents. Image from Family Tree Maker.

I definitely intend to focus on Freelove’s family going forward.  I need to find the ancestor “Freelove” that she may have been descended from (or perhaps it was a sibling somewhere) and move forward from there.  The fact that Christopher’s mother had the name Freelove, and his wife did, didn’t seem like a huge clue before, but it’s starting to.

So I have several things to follow up on in Salt Lake City:

  • looking at Coventry records in the 1780’s for evidence of Philip’s activities there, and any links to other family
  • consult every part of the documentation on the Andrews compiled by Harriet Francis James
  • Explore resources I have found for the Sweet and Matteson families

And follow up at home:

  • complete Freelove’s ancestral tree
  • compile a full military record for Philip, and see who he served with
  • keep searching for evidence of Freelove or Philip’s deaths.

If my gggg-grandmother Freelove IS related to the younger Freelove (Rice) Andrews, this would help to build the case of the possible parents I have found for Jesse’s wife Sarah Arnold.  They share Wightmans, Gortons, and Greenes.  Interesting!

The post you are reading is located at: http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/01/03/in-search-of-freelove-andrews

A street in Newport, from Sketches of Early American Architecture by O.R. Eggers, 1922.

A street in Newport, from Sketches of Early American Architecture by O.R. Eggers, 1922.

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I had the idea while writing my 50 Gifts for Genealogists post of making tile coasters with old photos.  I got some inspiration from this post I saw on Pinterest from Boxy Colonial, as well as several other Pinterest examples, but I also improvised.

I thought I would like to use family photos, but not of people.    I ended up doing two variations of this:  old New England houses that had belonged to my direct ancestors, and, at my daughter’s suggestion, the four houses that my parents owned before their present house.  I also bought scrapbook paper and made some with Christmas themes, and some for year-round.

Getting the pictures

I had taken pictures of the historic houses I wanted to use.  For my parents’ houses, my daughter had one picture that was suitable, and I went out while the leaves were still on the trees to photograph the three other houses, which are nearby.

So I was starting with pictures like this:

Former house on Waterman Avenue, Warwick, R.I.

Former house on Waterman Avenue, Warwick, R.I.

I needed to do several things to make them work:

  • make them square (by cropping)
  • eliminate aspects of the picture that were not accurate for the period they owned it (in the case above, the color is wrong, and the addition to the house beyond the garage is not original)
  • make them more interesting with special painting effects
  • make them just under 4 inches in size (for this, I actually needed to take the edited pictures and move them onto a blank Word document, then resize.  I printed on a normal color printer, on copier paper, from there).

I could handle the cropping and resizing, but I got my daughter to use a special app called “Waterlogue”on her iPad to make the “watercolor” effect on each picture.

So at this point I had pictures that looked like this:

The square, resized, watercolored picture of the Waterman Ave house.

The square, resized, watercolored picture of the Waterman Ave house.

For the historic houses, I wanted to get those done on my own, and I downloaded a free one week trial of AKVIS Artwork 8.1.  It was fairly easy to use.

Editing one of the historic pictures using AKVIS Artwork 8.1.

Editing one of the historic pictures using AKVIS Artwork 8.1.

The results were nice:

The watercolor version of the historic house in Sheldonville, Mass.

The watercolor version of the historic house in Sheldonville, Mass., built by my 5th great grandfather Nathan Aldrich and his father, Asa Aldrich about 200 years ago.

I also used Paint to retouch the photos, eliminating a few window air conditioners and other modern touches.

I moved the pictures into Word when I was finished editing them so that I could size them exactly, in inches. Then I printed them.  I measured them against the tiles and cut them out with scissors.

Putting the tiles together

I also purchased:

  • scrapbook paper on sale at Michael’s which I cut to size
  • 4 inch square ceramic tiles, color Bisque, from Lowe’s, 16 cents each
  • Modge Podge and some foam brushes.  I got the shiny Modge Podge, but the matte might have been better
  • Acrylic spray for finishing
  • We already had glue and some quarter inch cork sheets around the house.

I covered the tiles with Modge Podge, placed the picture on top immediately – you can wiggle it at this point, but once you let go, you can’t really move it again.  Then I coated the top of the picture with Modge Podge, being careful to make sure each edge was held down firmly.

Modge Podge going on one of the scrapbooking paper tiles.

Modge Podge going on one of the scrapbooking paper tiles.  It dries clear.

I gradually put about 24 tiles together, and went back and recoated each one with Modge Podge three additional times.  They were looking good:

My parents' four previous houses

My parents’ four previous houses

This is the historic house set:

Some historic houses owned by my direct ancestors

Some historic houses owned by my direct ancestors

Along the way of all that Modge Podging and drying, I cut the cork for the backs, and began applying the backs just before the last coat of Modge Podge.  My husband made me a wooden template to use for the size I wanted the cork to be (slightly smaller than the tile) and I cut the cork with a knife.

Cutting the cork backing.

Cutting the cork backing.

I glued the cork on the back of each tile.  I just used Tacky Glue along the edge of the tile back, and on some of the raised areas; it worked fine.

Gluing the cork on the back of each tile.

Gluing the cork on the back of each tile.

The Christmas tiles

The Christmas tiles

The last step was to spray an acrylic finish on the tiles (the smell was really annoying!).  Although that dried quickly, I plan to leave them out for a week or so before packing them up for gifts.

The finished tiles after the acrylic spray.

The finished tiles after the acrylic spray.

In closing

I think the tiles made with scrapbooking paper are cute, but I think I would only be interested in doing these in the future with my own artwork or photos – that’s the fun and unique part.  I was surprised to see that the Modge Podge didn’t damage the print at all on my copied photos.  It worked fine.

I made 25 tiles, and it took about a half day to take and manipulate the photos, and most of a day to make the tiles.  I think I could do this faster next time.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/11/30/a-quick-gift-for-mom-and-dad/

kittens7

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A Better Look at the Census

Jesse and Sarah Andrews’ children in the census

Recently I decided to do a search in the 1830 Federal Census for the Andrews children that appear to be missing from Jesse and Sarah Andrew’s home and farm in Ashford, Connecticut.  Of course, I don’t know their names or anything, they are just a merry band of tick marks from early census records.

Jesse and Sarah are related to me in the following way:  their daughter Hannah Andrews (1819-1878), her daughter Emma Luella Lamphere (1857-1927), her son Russell Earl Darling (1883-1959), and his daughter, my grandmother, Edna May Darling (1905-1999).

Jesse and Sarah married in 1795. Here is what I know of their children from census records:

  • 1800 –  1 male under 10, 2 females under 10 = 3
  • 1810 –  3 males under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 female under 10, 2 females 10-1 5 = 7
  • 1820 –  3 males under 10, 2 males 10-16, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 16-26 = 9    (1 person engaged in agriculture, 5 persons engaged in manufactures)
  • 1830 – only the two adults

To guess when each child was born, I spaced them out evenly between the periods when they first appeared in the census (in the Under 10 categories).  It would look something like this:

first group, could be in any order:

  • girl b. 1796
  • boy b. 1797
  • girl b. 1799

second group, could be in any order:

  • boy b. 1801
  • girl b. 1803 – could be Diana [this is a theory, based on matching her possible grandmother’s name]
  • boy b. 1806
  • boy b. 1809 – could be Benjamin [almost certainly their child]

last group (and I know the last two):

  • boy b. 1811
  • girl b. 1813
  • boy b. 1815
  • boy b. 1816 – this was Alden
  • girl b. 1819 – this was Hannah

Putting it together in this way shows that they had 12 children.  I don’t even see a lot of room for additional children who may not have survived.  Either the number is around 12, or there are other factors involved here that I don’t know about.  Since I happen to know that the youngest two claimed Jesse as their father, I doubt that other children are mixed in here.

So the mystery remains, where did the children go in 1830 – some barely teenagers – and my best theory is that some of them moved to Norwich, a thriving mill town at that time.  Perhaps the younger ones stayed with newly-married older siblings.  I base this on Hannah’s marriage in 1838 to a Norwich resident, and her husband’s appearance in the 1840 census in Norwich, as well as the five “engaged in manufactures” family members from the 1820 census – the offspring appeared to have some home industry, or perhaps they traveled to a workplace every day.  Other possibilities for finding industrial work would have been Killingly or Plainfield, Connecticut.

A search in Norwich

I searched the 1830 federal census records in Norwich, Connecticut for anyone named Andrews.  Of course, there could be married daughters, but I don’t know their names.

Running a search in Ancestry.com for last name “Andrews” in the 1830 census for Norwich brought up one result – Elisha Andrews.  Unfortunately, the quality of the page view was very poor.

1830 census image for Elisha Andrews, Norwich, Connecticut.  From Ancestry.com.

1830 census image for Elisha Andrews, Norwich, Connecticut. From Ancestry.com.

There are several things I know about this census section:

  • the handwriting was not so much bad as a little strange – note the “L” in “Ladd,” second entry from the bottom
  • This image is suffering from improper lighting or exposure – the overly light areas can’t be due to completely faded-out ink
  • The transcription is bad (and you can hardly blame them)
  • If the images and transcription are bad, there COULD be a lot more Andrews in the Town of Norwich section.

I turned to Internet Archive (www.archive.org – a free site) to see if their images were better than this one.  They won’t have an index of the contents, just the images of the NARA microfilm rolls, county by county, so I searched for:  “1830 Census New London.”  It was the first item that came up –

Population schedules of the fifth census of the United States, 1830, Connecticut [microform] (1969).  Reel 0010 – 1830 Connecticut Federal Population Census Schedules – New London County

There were 566 pages.  I looked at the Ancestry.com page to find a page number.  Ancestry’s source notes gave the page as 127, but a page number 252 could ALSO clearly be seen.  Turns out, 252 was the page number I needed.  Here is the same section of the page, this time from page 252 in the Internet Archive copy:

the same census page, this time from the Internet Archive image.

the same census page, this time from the Internet Archive image.  Better!

The Internet Archive copy is completely readable (except for the weird handwriting).  With no index there, I had to read the records for Norwich myself, page by page.  Norwich City was on pages 192 – 228.  Town of Norwich was on 230 – 254.  It didn’t take long.  No more Andrews were found.

A search in the county

After finding so little in Norwich, I concluded I needed to look at a wider area.  To search more broadly for Andrews, and make a list of possible Andrews children, I chose the two most likely counties:  Windham, where Ashford and Plainfield were, and New London, where Norwich was.  I wanted to see who was in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 census.

I took long lists from the Ancestry index like this:

The last name "Andrew" in New London County, 1850.  I copied this test directly from the screen.

The last name “Andrew” in New London County, 1850. I copied this text directly from the screen.

I pasted the text into Excel like this:

The census data pasted into an Excel file.  From here, it can be sorted and highlighted in different ways.

The 1850 census data pasted into an Excel file, sorted by birth year.

I added “Andrew” and “Andrews” entries (and a few other various spellings) from both counties in 1850 to this spreadsheet, resulting in about 130 entries.   I then eliminated (from the 1850 portion of the list) all women that were married to an Andrews.  From vital records, I added some men who had married Andrews women, and also used the vital records to eliminate some Andrews from further considerations as Jesse’s children.  I also added in the names from 1830 and 1840 census records in those counties.

Some steps that helped me eliminate some Andrews on the list from further consideration:

  • limited the list to those born between 1795 and 1822
  • Limited the birthplaces to Rhode Island or Massachusetts, or, if close to 1820, possibly Connecticut
  • looked at military and pension records on Fold3
  • looked for Connecticut death records.
  • looked for marriage records to see if parents were named
  • looked in newspaper notices at Newspapers.com and GenealogyBank
Some likely suspects for the children of Jesse Andrews.

Some likely suspects for the children of Jesse Andrews.

In the end, I had about 20 possible Andrews offspring.

  • Abby Andrews m. Gurdon Bushnel
  • Alden Andrews – definitely a son
  • Amaret Andrews m. John Phelps
  • Benjamin B Andrews – very likely to be a son; mother Sarah lived with him later on
  • Cordelia F Andrews – seems possible because she married Bradford Lyon in Ashford, however, there was an Ephraim Andrews there who could have been her father.
  • Diana Andrews – married Peleg Arnold.  Seems possible because of her grandmother being Dinah/Diana. 
  • Erastus Andrews
  • George R Andrews
  • Gideon G Andrews
  • Gilbert Andrew
  • Hannah Andrews – definitely a daughter
  • Harris Andrew
  • Huldah Andrews m. George Smith
  • Jane Andrews m. Hazard Rodman
  • Mary W Andrews m. William Davis
  • Nathaniel Andros
  • Parish Andrews  (possibly Paris)
  • Rebecca Andrews m. Jason Pray
  • Susan S Andrews m. Griggs Weeks
  • Sylvester Andrew
  • Thomas Andrews
  • Wheaton Andrew  (possibly Weeden)

Where things stand

Some factors that are holding me back:

  • While I know Jesse had a brother named Christopher, his father’s home showed other children, and I have never identified Jesse’s other siblings.  His father was Phillip, and his mother’s name is unknown, and may possibly be Freelove.
  • I have a Warwick, R.I. family I suspect may be Sarah Arnold’s. The father is almost definitely Joseph (that is from her marriage record), and the correct family may be Joseph Arnold and Dinah (sometimes Diana) Whitman.   Only five children are mentioned for them in The Arnold Memorial by Elisha Steve Arnold, and none were recorded in Warwick or East Greenwich, Rhode Island.   The five are Nicholas, Josiah, Joseph, Ann, and John.
  • The descendants of the original John Andrews family grew and spread west from North Kingstown and East Greenwich into the large town of Coventry.  Some of those Coventry families spread into eastern Connecticut – meaning all these Andrews may be distant cousins, and those who were recorded in the census as born in Rhode Island may easily have been from the Coventry families.
Western view of Danielson and Killingly from History and Antiquities of Every Town in Connecticut by John Warner Barber, 1838, p. 433.

Western view of Killingly from History and Antiquities of Every Town in Connecticut by John Warner Barber, 1838, p. 433.

Some factors that have come to light in this investigation:

  • There was an older Benjamin Andrews in Plainfield in 1830 who had a household of 15, mostly young people.  I have long thought Benjamin was a common name among the Andrews, and I suspect he could be a relative, and possibly be housing the children – perhaps they worked at a local mill, or were being educated.
  • I looked in vain for a Phillip Andrews or a Joseph Andrews, who would be the children named for the grandfathers.  Perhaps such children existed but died fairly young.
  • Of the female Andrews I have found in Windham County marriage records, all seem to disappear from Windham before 1850.  One or two of the  husbands died, but clearly 1810-1840 was a time of exodus from these southern New England counties, as people headed north or west.  I suspect many are to be found in Vermont, New York State, Ohio, Michigan, etc.

So, without siblings for either parent, and only two children absolutely identified – Alden and Hannah – it is hard to make sense of this list.

Next steps

  • Compile a research list and systematically go through each of the names on my list, noting results.  If there were any low-hanging fruit on these folks identifying parents, I would have found it already.
  • Keep trying to identify the parents of Diana Andrews’ husband Peleg Arnold.
  • Look again for probate records back in Warwick and East Greenwich which might mention any of these people.
  • Investigate any records for the Joseph Arnold I am pursuing.  I did not find Warwick probate records for him in 1819, or deeds any time around 1819, but I need to keep looking.  Perhaps he died in East Greenwich.
  • Be open minded about additional, more poorly documented (if such a thing is possible) Joseph Arnolds who could be Sarah’s father.
  • Ultimately, use any of Jesse and Sarah’s children that I can confirm to help me determine more about his father Phillip’s family and also details of Sarah’s family.
  • Look again at Jesse’s brother Christopher Andrews, to identify the names he used for his children which appear NOT to belong to his wife’s family.
  • Ultimately, I find myself very curious about whether my great-great grandmother Hannah Andrews was a cotton mill worker as a girl.  I wonder if I will ever know?
Some statistics about the cotton manufacture in Killingly, Connecticut, from , p. 432.

Some statistics about the cotton manufacture in Killingly, Connecticut, from History and Antiquities of Every Town in Connecticut by John Warner Barber, 1838, p. 432.

One name study, anyone?

Of Jesse and Sarah’s 12 children, I have two children identified, two are serious possibilities, and that leaves 18 possibilities for the other 8 spots.  Of course, they may have left children behind in Warwick (Warwick/East Greenwich were loaded with Andrews), or the mysterious spot in Massachusetts they may have stopped in before moving to Ashford.  But I feel like a couple of these may be right.

This is starting to look and feel like a study of all descendants of John Andrews, the (supposedly) original Scottish settler who died in North Kingstown, Rhode Island in 1693.  The more I study these obscure people, the more I know there is a lot more work to be done.  When the Rhode Island Historical Society Library re-opens gradually over the next month or two, I am going to get in there and photograph the manuscript they have on this family.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/11/24/better-look-at-the-census/

2014-10-17 19.18.55

 — Illustration from The Art of Homemaking, 1898.

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Software Solutions

A simple request

A kind reader of this website commented recently that she’d like to see some examples of my Family Group Sheets since she is looking for ways to improve her source citations and examine her evidence.  Well, the thing is, I’m really not a Family Group Sheet kind of person.  Early on in genealogy, I made my own Family Group Sheets (I’d never heard of them, but when I finally did I realized they were almost exactly the same as what I’d drawn up for myself).  I filled some binders but quickly moved on to family tree software and digital storage of documents.

I’m a software person.  In fact, no joking, if I had the time I would actually like to create my own database solution for family trees and sources using FileMaker Pro.  But for now (and probably always) I settle for software made by others.  I use Family Tree Maker, as well as online services like Dropbox and Evernote.  I like Roots Magic but don’t use it much.

This is how I use them.

Dropbox

All of my documents, photos and pdf’s are stored on Dropbox which I can access from any computer, smartphone, or tablet.  The main folders hold genealogy books and documents in two categories:  PLACES and FAMILY NAMES.  Beneath these two main folders is a detailed file structure.  I also have about 20 other main folders.  Most of what I have is photos of records, documents, and manuscripts from many sources, plus pdf’s of old books.

Evernote

I decided a while ago to keep actual BOOKS, RECORDS and PHOTOS in Dropbox, but to use Evernote for all notes, analysis, to-do’s, how-to’s, guidance, expenses, materials from conferences, etc.  I keep notes for all libraries, repositories and town halls with a running list of all my to-dos specifically for each of those places.  I also have RESEARCH NOTES on many families where I paste notes, ideas, transcriptions, screen shots, and data.

Files in Evernote

Files in Evernote – TOWNS and TOWN HALLS – Providence City Hall

Family Tree Maker

I like that Family Tree Maker will synch directly with my tree on Ancestry.com.  I am not a big fan of some of the index-like “records” one finds on Ancestry.com (I use those as clues to how I can find a real record), but when Ancestry comes up with a scanned actual document, like a census record, I have saved a ton of those to my tree.  Since I find sources in many other places both online and in libraries and repositories, I also add other sources directly to my Ancestry.com tree.  With Family Tree Maker, all of that is synched to my tree on my own computer.  It also downloads every image for me, still linked to the proper person.  If I quit Ancestry tomorrow, I would have every image and fact from my tree stored permanently on my own computer.  I can access Ancestry.com from any computer, smart phone, or tablet, and I use that all the time.

These two products do a good job of keeping track of my facts and sources, particularly the sources where I entered the data from scratch myself.  For sources linked to Ancestry-held records, the details are not usually recorded properly and one would have to re-examine each one to format a proper footnote or even a proper bibliography.

Evidentia to the rescue
When I think about improving my documentation, I know I want to do so in a way that is efficient.  The sources in Family Tree Maker could be tweaked to improve the footnotes and source lists created, but I’m not sure that would help me analyze each source.
In the last couple of years a new piece of software, Evidentia, has caught my attention, thanks to a review of the Beta version on Are My Roots Showing? by Jenny Lanctot.
Evidentia does not hold your family tree (although it can).  It does not store images of your documents (although it can).  It allows you to enter just the names from your tree that you are planning to research, and document the sources you have for each person, the claims you are making based on those sources, and to analyze the evidence you’ve entered and reach conclusions about what can and cannot be proven concerning the life of the individual.  Along the way, you can evaluate each claim carefully and record your reasoning.
This sounds like the kind of tool that would really help me.  I purchased a copy of Evidentia for $24.99 (but I started with the trial offer).  It is software, so it runs on my home computer. I have spent about two weeks with Evidentia, working hard on the problem of my gg-grandmother Catherine Young who apparently arrived in the U.S. as a child from Surrey, England and first made herself known in records in 1860, married to her second husband.  My attempts to reconstruct an original family for Catherine, or any details of her early life, are failing, and I would like to make sure I am using the sources I have to the fullest.
An Evidentia screen showing evidence from the 1870 census record for Catherine Young.

An Evidentia screen – Catalog Claims –  showing each piece of evidence from the 1870 census record for Catherine Young.

My experience with Evidentia
I had to review each of the available instructional videos on the Evidentia website because there is a learning curve when you first get started.  The three main steps you must learn are:
  • Document a Source
  • Catalog Claims
  • Analyze Evidence

As I started to complete these steps for the evidence I had gathered over the years for Catherine Young, I have to admit, right here and now, it was an eye-opening experience. And not in a good way.  My digital files for Catherine were not organized nearly as well as they should have been.  Not everything from those files had been sourced properly in the tree.  I had missed some facts contained in those sources (Catherine’s house in Sterling, Massachusetts was “on Long Hill”, “near the cemetery” – I’m still not sure where that is, but I never noticed the clue before).  Because I worked on her rather early in my genealogy career, I still had important documents sitting in paper binders – I have now moved those to the digital files.  And lastly, there were sources I had noted online but had not recorded in my own files for my own use – things can disappear online, so that was not wise.

Although Evidentia contains many templates for source entries using Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained (1) format (see the used book here, and the electronic version of the book here), I found that I needed to review the formats and add a few of my own directly from the book.  Sometimes, the citation asked for a detail which was not available to me anywhere, and I still need to figure out how to handle those, or how to locate other versions of my sources that have better detail.  It is possible to take the templates for each type of entry and annotate it with extra instructions – which I could get from the book – something I will do in the future.

Using Evidence Explained along with Evidentia to understand the details of some of the citation formats.

Using Evidence Explained(1) along with Evidentia to understand the details of some of the citation formats.

I do not want to be updating several versions of my tree, so I won’t be copying it into Evidentia.  And I don’t want duplicate files of my source documents and pictures, so I was glad that Evidentia lets me just link to the location of each digital document.

As I move on to research other people, I will add more evidence to Evidentia that may pertain to Catherine.  At that time, it is very simple in Evidentia to just keep linking evidence to her, to add to the total documentation for her.

Evidentia produces many reports, in html or as pdf’s.  Reports can be generated for almost any view of the data – by person, by source, by claims, etc.

THE RESEARCH SUMMARY REPORT FOR CATHERINE YOUNG

Use THIS LINK to see, in pdf, my Evidentia Research Summary Report for Catherine Young.   Here is a list of what the report contains.  My Evidentia database includes 8 events and/or facts for Catherine Young. These include:

  • Residence     10 assertions, 10 reviewed.
  • Birth     8 assertions, 8 reviewed.
  • Child(ren)     6 assertions, 6 reviewed.
  • Immigration     2 assertions, 2 reviewed.
  • Parent(s)     4 assertions, 4 reviewed.
  • Religion     1 assertions, 1 reviewed.
  • Death     2 assertions, 2 reviewed.
  •  Marriage     3 assertions, 3 reviewed.

I suspect Evidentia would let me control the ORDER of these elements, but I haven’t figured that out yet.  I like version 2 of Evidentia and I expect to keep using it and learning more about it.

2014-10-17 18.56.54

Next Steps

  • Finish recording clues on Catherine by conducting this review on each of her four children, which will turn up some additional sources on Catherine.
  • Start keeping these printed reports in a binder that will go with me to libraries, etc, so I can easily see the state of my research, and recall each idea and source for the person.  Also, the pdf reports will sit in Evernote for ready access anytime.
  • Look more thoroughly into English sources.  Document every POSSIBLE Catherine Young and begin to eliminate some.
  • I would like to visit Catherine’s grave in Sterling and figure out where the farm was that burned down in 1894.
  • Use every means possible to pin down Catherine’s first husband, William Bennett.
  • Hiram Ross may appear in Worcester County court records concerning the liability of the railroad for the sparks that burned his property in 1894.  His son in law was on the Rhode Island Supreme Court, so definitely, someone would have thought of a lawsuit.  I need to pursue that.
  • Move on to person-by-person enter new research problems into Evidentia.

(1) Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Revised edition.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2009.

2014-10-17 19.34.17

Illustrations in the post from The Art of Homemaking by Margaret E. Sangster, 1898.  Photos and screenshots by Diane Boumenot.

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Registration opened this week for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference which will take place in Providence, Rhode Island, April 15-18, 2015.  The conference is held in New England every two years and this time, the location will be at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.  I am really looking forward to it.

Enjoy the conference

The conference program is now available to download as a pdf.  I am looking forward to keynote speakers Judy G. Russell and Lisa Louisa Cook, and I won’t miss an opportunity to hear Cherry Bamburg Fletcher speak about Rhode Island research.  Personally, I am planning to add Barbara MathewsDocument Analysis special workshop to my registration.  There are over a hundred other sessions to choose from, with excellent and knowledgeable presenters on a wide variety of topics.  Choosing will probably be the hard part.  There are also an Exhibit Hall, the popular 20-minute personal consultations at the Ancestors Road Show, Special Interest Group gatherings, Librarian and Teachers’ Day, and Tech Day.  Even those not attending can submit a “Genealogical Query” for $5.00 which will be visible to conference attendees; the deadline for that is January 15 (see page 3 in the downloadable brochure).

South Main Street historic area, Providence

South Main Street historic area, Providence. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Volunteer

This impressive conference is run by volunteers representing many local genealogical organizations.  The conference only exists because people step forward to volunteer.  If you attend, plan to spend a couple hours in a volunteer job.  This will NOT lower your cost of registration (as I said, it’s ALL volunteer efforts) but will make you feel like a good citizen, and you’ll meet more people doing that.  Last time, I helped out in the registration booth for a few hours, but there will be a wide variety of jobs to choose from, closer to the event.  And if you are a local genealogist who doesn’t plan to register and attend, but you can still give a little volunteer time, they would also welcome your help.

Be a tourist

NERGC has some good tips for seeing the sites during your stay. I like their suggestion of the self-guided “telephone tour” of downtown which allows you to follow the “Independence Trail” and phone in when you reach each designated stopping point, to hear recorded guidance about each historical spot.  It’s 2-1/2 miles of walking, but it’s free, and you could go at your own pace and stop along the way.  There is also a guided local Explore Providence Tour that includes transportation and sounds wonderful (see page 3 of the program for cost and reservations).  The Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau also has a thorough list of historical sites in the area.

East Greenwich Town Hall, one of my absolute favorite town halls.  The materials are well organized and available.  They even have a neat map of the original farms that they will sell you.

East Greenwich Town Hall, one of my absolute favorite town halls. The materials are well organized and available. They even have a neat map of the original farms that they will sell you.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Do some local genealogical research

Now we’re getting to the point of this post.  If you have Rhode Island roots, you may want to try to fit in some research, and it would be best to start thinking about that early, and prepare for a few local visits at repositories.  A great place to start would be the excellent guidance in Cherry Bamburg Fletcher’s newly revised Frequently Asked Questions About Rhode Island Genealogy on the Rhode Island Genealogical Society website.

While this list is by no means complete, these are some local repositories I’m familiar with:

WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE

  • The Rhode Island State Archives.  About a six block walk from the Convention Center.  This is a government department which primarily records state government activity.  It has a reading room with a wonderful index of R.I. vital records from about 1853 up to the legally allowed cutoffs – about 1915 or so (after using the index volumes, you can look at the state-compiled entries on microfilm), a fair collection of books and guides, a Revolutionary War index card file and other military resources, an index to Rhode Island General Assembly actions (most frequent appearance for my ancestors? “An Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors … “ ), the 1865 and 1875 Rhode Island state census records, and MANY special little index guides to state government activities.  See my posts here and here.
  • Providence City Archives.  About three blocks from the Convention Center, and next to the Biltmore Hotel.  If your ancestors lived in Providence at any time since 1636, you may want to do some research at the Providence City Archives up top of the picturesque 1878 Providence City Hall. On the fifth floor, the space is cramped and tiny, and the collection is not browsable, so it’s not a great place to just stroll around, but it is a valuable resource if you have real requests to make.  I mostly go to request Providence vital records and to view probate records (remember “probate” sometimes includes guardianships or adoptions).  See my post here.
  • The Providence Public Library.  About a five block walk from the door of the Convention Center, the library has some useful features.  I have never been in the special collections, and I’m not very familiar with them.  I mostly appreciate the extensive collection of Providence newspapers that they carry on microfilm, particularly since most of these are not online anywhere.  You can view microfilm and print, for a price per page.  They also have a large card index of Rhode Island events, well-known citizens, and news.  See my blog post here.
The State Archives reading room.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

The State Archives reading room. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

NEARBY BUT NOT WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE

  • The Library of the Rhode Island Historical Society.  Perhaps some may argue this is walkable from the Convention Center.  If you have good health, good shoes, good weather, an intrepid companion, and a little time, you might look into it.  On the map, it won’t appear THAT far away – maybe about a mile.  What the coy map won’t reveal to you is that it’s UP HILL. And I mean UP.  HILL.  You would be going through some lovely and historic parts of Providence, so you would, for sure, enjoy the scenery if, well, you could breathe and everything.  No matter how you get there, this is probably Rhode Island’s premier research destination.  Non-members pay a small fee and fill out paperwork for a day pass, and will not be allowed to photograph anything at all.  There are some local records from various towns available on microfilm as well as the state’s most thorough collection of old newspapers on microfilm – very few are online anywhere (however, there is very little in the way of indexing available).  There is a large collection of genealogy books and journals as well as local books.  There are manuscripts which may be requested.  They have valuable collections and the structure, rules and process of visiting there is fairly severe. Bring a smile and some well thought out questions.  Explore their holdings thoroughly beforehand here.
  • The Rhode Island Judicial Archives is in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, maybe 5 miles away.  I would encourage anyone interested in the archival record of any particular case to contact the archives in advance to see if the case is on file there.  Nothing is browsable or searchable in person, indeed, you will be lining up with the criminals and lawyers to request your case records.  Ask for the historical records, and that clerk will be summoned. Older divorce cases from Rhode Island will be on file here, as well as many other types of court cases. You would need to know some details of the case (a name and rough date, to start with) in order for the clerk to try to find it. Documents can be read and photographed there.  See my post here.
The Rhode Island Historic Cemetery marker.  This one is from Peck Cemetery, Cumberland.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

A Rhode Island Historic Cemetery marker. This one is from Peck Cemetery, Cumberland (“Cumberland 19″). Photo by Diane Boumenot.

FARTHER AWAY

Cemeteries.  The tradition in Rhode Island was to bury family right on the family farm, because early Rhode Islanders were very firmly against any centralized powers belonging to the churches.  In a growing city like Providence, many of these early plots were eventually relocated to the North Burial Ground, or they just disappeared.  In most other areas, tiny historical cemeteries remain in place.  You can research recorded graves at the Rhode Island Historic Cemetery Commission website.

The city and town halls of Rhode Island are the place for vital records, deeds, probate, town council, and a random variety of other early records.  In Rhode Island, you won’t find materials at the county level except for some court records.

Keep in mind that town boundaries shifted over the years, meaning the records you seek may be in a different town than the one you associate your ancestors with (see this summary from the R.I. Genealogical Society to see if you need to explore this question).  Some of the local town libraries have local history rooms or special collections which can he useful.  My recommendation would be that if you are going to the town your ancestors lived in, go to the (correct) town hall but make sure you at least check out, from home, what the local library is offering as well. Less often, there is also a local historical society or historic building – those can have extremely limited hours.

Rhode Island has 39 cities and towns and each town hall has a completely different arrangement for access to records, seating areas, photocopying, picture-taking (usually allowed), access to books, ability to answer questions, and record sets available.  Going to each one is like arriving in a brand new country.

Town Hall, Westerly, Rhode Island.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Town Hall, Westerly, Rhode Island. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

My suggestions for town/city halls would be:

  • Never go into your genealogy story. Dress neatly, be polite, ask about the materials you need and possibly give the impression you are a historical researcher or lawyer.
  • If there is any archival staff, yay, but if you are dealing with the normal town clerk staff, they really have other jobs to do and can’t spend much time on non-town business; they don’t always know much about the “old stuff.”  At best, they expect to lead you to an area of old volumes and leave you there, at worst, they expect you to request one item at a time which they will reluctantly attempt to find for you.
  • There are usually (but NOT ALWAYS) tables and chairs, but if there are other researchers, don’t count on a lot of room.  A laptop may be too complicated for these settings. I would suggest a camera and a paper notebook.  I sometimes bring a tablet or just rely on my cell phone if I need to look something up.  I suspect there would be a LOT of problems using photocopiers in town halls; a camera is better.
  • Sometimes there is an official room where researchers go (particularly people doing title searches) but there may ALSO be an old archives collection hidden away in a basement or something.  Try to be sure you are seeing all that’s available.
  • If staff say you should have called, reserved, warned them, written them a letter, etc, agree with that, keep smiling, keep them talking, and usually when they see you haven’t left yet, they tend to help you anyway.
  • Genealogists are nice people. But town staff have to deal with some real, real cranks and crazy people (as I have witnessed in sitting around those offices over the years), so give them a few minutes to realize you’re not one of those.
  • Follow ALL usual archival rules, whether stated or not – no pens, no food or drink, no talking on the phone, be extremely careful of the books, try to remove and use only one at a time, always replace them in the exact spot, lay them flat on the table.
  • The index volumes may be in a completely different area of the room from the record volumes.  Give a good look around.
  • The only true problem you are likely to encounter is a flat denial of access to vital records because “it’s the law”, “because of privacy” or “the record is not about you” (like I’d be asking for my own death record).  If you need post-1914 records you may not be able to solve this one.  If you are asking for pre-1914 records, stand your ground and politely say that under Rhode Island law those records are public records and you have a right to see them, if they exist.  Keep smiling, and say that you’re probably going to need to talk to the Town Clerk. The Rhode Island law changed recently to include some new restrictions but none of that applies to pre-1914 records.
Early Smithfield records are stored at the Central Falls City Hall records room.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

Early Smithfield records are stored at the Central Falls City Hall records room. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

My suggestions for local libraries or historical societies:

  • Definitely mention genealogy, this sometimes gets you ushered right away into the special “Genealogy Room”.
  • If possible, write a week or two in advance.  Sometimes the best person to help you is only available at certain times.
  • Make sure you are seeing an index or catalog to the special collections or manuscripts.  Sometimes old materials are cataloged separately.
  • Look for unique manuscript items like indices to local newspapers, obituary collections, index lists to local town records, inventories of historic houses, local newspapers, genealogy card files, local pictures, and manuscript genealogies.  These may not be available anywhere else.
  • If you gain admittance into any local historical society or small museum, either pay admission or buy something.  They need the money, and it will help them to see that you appreciate their work.

In closing

For a more detailed review of repositories, check out Michael Leclerc’s Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, 5th edition, (Boston, NEHGS, 2012) and Diane Rapaport’s New England Court Records (Burlington, Mass., Quill Pen Press, 2006), as well as the previously mentioned Cherry Bamburg Fletcher’s Frequently Asked Questions About Rhode Island Genealogy on the Rhode Island Genealogical Society website.

Sign up for the conference e-zine today!

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About two years ago I posted my top 10 problems and that post actually led to the solution of one of those problems.  So I am trying here, again, and my list today is somewhat different, due to progress made in several areas.

1. Catherine Young (Bennett) (Baldwin) Ross (1832? – 1907).  The first “gap” in my mother’s family tree is for the parents of my gg-grandmother, Catherine Young (Bennett) (Baldwin) Ross, known as “Grandma Ross” to my grandfather.  Grandma Ross took my grandfather in for a while after his mother died and his father was busy with other things.  He knew about her three marriages because he scrawled all the names on the back of this picture – he was descended from her second husband, Edward Baldwin.

Catherine was born in Surrey, England, possibly 04 Jun 1832.  The borders of Surrey were altered around that time, making this extra-difficult.  Her father’s name may be William B and her mother, Catherine (from her death record).  In the 1900 census she gave her immigration year as 1843; the 1905 census says 1840.  Searching English census records, ship passenger lists and American records has turned up a few speculative possibilities but nothing that seems to fit together.  My earliest record for her is an 1860 census record with her second husband at Belmont in western New York; eventually she had four children, William Blackstone Bennett, Anna Jean Bennett, Harriet Elizabeth Baldwin and Miles Edward Baldwin.  I have found no trace of any member of her original family.

My latest research track:

  • try and pin down her elusive first husband, William Bennett, who was born in Massachusetts.  I suspect she was divorced rather than widowed.
  • Keep investigating the idea that her first marriage might have taken place in Massachusetts, and even the divorce could have happened there.  It did not happen in Allegany County, New York.
  • Keep pursuing possible clues from DNA.
Catherine Baldwin, circa 1900 in Providence, RI, in her 60's.

Catherine Baldwin, circa 1900 on Marshall Street, Providence, R.I. around 1900.

2. Sarah Arnold (1776? – 1861?).  Having confirmed my relationship to Sarah’s husband, Jesse Andrews, I now need to move on to determine which part of the large Arnold family in Warwick Sarah’s father, Joseph Arnold, is from.  That name is pulled from Sarah’s 1795 marriage record in Warwick, Rhode Island.  Sarah is, as far as I can tell, not mentioned in The Arnold Memorial or other books published about the Pawtuxet/Warwick Arnolds, which probably means that she was not mentioned in any local birth or probate records (although I continue to check).  A Joseph Arnold is sometimes noted nearby Jesse and Sarah in census records. 

This would be an ideal common-name problem for me to tackle because I have good access to many records. No excuses!

My latest research track:

  • make my own documentation of all possible Joseph Arnolds, using vital, probate and land records in Warwick and East Greenwich.
  • try to pin down any further details of the neighbor Joseph Arnold, including nearby possible grown children.
  • Explore Joseph Arnold more widely in court, military and cemetery records.
  • I do not know the names of most of Sarah’s children, but continue to try and find those names, possibly in Norwich, Connecticut, as hints to her family.
One of several pages of Joseph Arnold deeds indexed at Warwick City Hall.  Note the "S.D." and "S.W." indicating "Son of D" and "Son of W".  Not every deed has that, of course.

One of several pages of Joseph Arnold deeds indexed at Warwick City Hall. Note the “S.D.” and “S.W.” indicating “Son of D” and “Son of W”. Not every deed has that, of course. That would be too easy.

3. James Lawrence (1807-1882).  My 4x-great grandfather James Lawrence was born in England in 1807, and his father’s name may have been James.  In 1835, he married Ann Shortridge (Shortriggs) in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  The next twenty years found them in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Connecticut before ending up in Providence by 1860 with several of their almost-grown children.  According to the 1865 census, he was a machinist.  If I could learn more about James’ origins, it might help me to verify my complicated relationship to the Lawrences through DNA testing.

My latest research track:

  • Keep looking for ship passenger records and court naturalization records for James.
  • Other than birthplaces listed by his children years later, I am having trouble pursuing him across the eastern U.S. through the 1830’s – 1850’s, although I do have an 1850 census record for them in Virginia.  Try finding clues from that for further research.
  • Learn more about Dorchester resources such as directories, businesses, and immigrant populations there.
Places fo birth:  England, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Rhode Island.  My father was right.  My mother DOES descend from a long line of gypsies.

Places of birth for James’ children, from the 1865 census: England, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Rhode Island.

4. Jessie Ruth MacLeod Murdock (1861-1936).  Thanks to a helpful cousin who saw my blog post, I learned about a 1954 local genealogy book written by the nephew of my brick-wall gg-grandmother back in Pictou, Nova Scotia. That was a great moment, but imagine my surprise as I obtained the book and saw her listed as “adopted” – a sentiment I do not believe she shared.  Although I now know more about my gg-grandmother Jessie’s early life in Pictou, Nova Scotia, I continue to know nothing about her mother, Rachel, and her relationship to the people who may have adopted her, William and Mary MacLeod.  Jessie came to the U.S. around 1881, according to the 1900 and 1905 census.  I can find no evidence of her journey or any relatives coming with her.  She married Louis Murdock in 1883, making me wonder if she was related to Louis’ adopted father, William Murdock, also from Pictou.  There are some Rachel’s in the Murdock family.

My latest research track:

  • investigate land and probate records of the Murdocks in Pictou through microfilm at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society library in Boston.
  • see if the name of her third daughter – Jessie Ellen – can be matched with any people from Pictou.
  • naturalization records
The MacLean farm which became the home of William and Mary (MacLean) Murdock, from page 192

The farm in Lorne, Pictou, where Jessie MacLeod spent her teen years, from page 192, The Pioneers and Churches.

5. Lydia Minor (1787-1849). Now that I have solved the Andrews problem, I plan to move one generation back to the Lydia Minor problem.  She married Russell Lamphere in Norwich, Connecticut in May, 1807 “At Preston”, as reported by the announcement in the Norwich Courier. Lydia and Russell had seven boys and seven girls in Norwich Falls, Connecticut.  No vital records for the marriage, the children, or Lydia’s death has been found.  A Norwich Courier notice indicates she died 18 January 1849.

Russell was from Westerly, Rhode Island, and at age 32 in 1808 his father’s probate papers said he was “late of Westerly now residing in Norwich”, however census and town records show him moving between Westerly and Norwich several times.  So the marriage at Preston could be because she was from Preston, or perhaps they were both originally Westerly residents.

Lydia’s 1849 death notice gives her age as 62, making her birth (if true) around 1787.  There was a Lydia Minor born to Jerusha Peabody and Ludowick Minor in nearby Stonington, Connecticut in 1787, however, I am pursuing another person that may be THAT Lydia.

My latest research track:

  • Examine deeds and probate for a potential “Minor” family in Westerly and Preston
  • Look for probate for Lodowick Minor at Stonington.
  • Keep pursuing the possible sister for Lydia, Eliza.
A quote from Lydia's 80 year old son, William, from the Norwich Bulletin, 12 Sep 1898, reminiscing with a friend about his mother.  Sent to me by a kind researcher in Norwich.

A quote from Lydia’s 80 year old son, William, from the Norwich Bulletin, 12 Sep 1898, reminiscing with a friend about his mother. The article later makes it clear both families had 14 children each, in Lydia’s case, 7 boys and 7 girls.  Sent to me by a kind researcher in Norwich.

 6. Maria Shipley Martin (1848? – ?).  Maria or Mariah Shipley Martin, my gg-grandmother, has a fascinating family tree that includes immigrants from Scotland and England who came to Nova Scotia in the 1700’s.  So she is one of those mystery ancestors whose origins are well known, but she disappears from records after 1892, when her daughter got married at her home in Milton, Massachusetts.  I suspect, by that time, she was separated from her husband, but I have never found any further record of her.  Massachusetts was pretty strict about death records so perhaps she had gone with a relative to another state before her death, or perhaps she did, indeed, divorce and remarry.  My family had no knowledge of this branch, so I have found the stories of her children Bessie (my great grandmother), Clara, Hazel and Daisy, but I have found very little about Minnie, May, and John Anderson Martin.

My latest research track:

  • keep looking for a divorce record in several counties.  Look further for a second marriage in Massachusetts.
  • Look for her death record at the NEHGS library in Boston.
  • Try Milton, Mass. city directories.
  • Try naturalization records.
A book of her grandson's sayings and some fabric scraps, put together by Maria's daughters in 1898 after the death of daughter Bessie.

A book of her grandson’s Teddy’s sayings and some fabric scraps, put together by Maria’s daughters in 1898 after the death of daughter Bessie.

7.  Nancy (——-) Lamphere (1752?-1833). Nancy may be a Tefft, but I have no confidence in that so I am open to all names.  She married Daniel Lamphere around 1774 and had six children.  The only records I have for her are her husband’s probate in 1808 (and later), a number of Westerly deeds that she is mentioned in, and the birth records of her children in Westerly. She may have died around 1833.  If she was living next to her son Russell Lamphere in 1810 (perhaps in her third of the house), then apparently she was sometimes called Anne, an obvious variant that I haven’t been using very much.  

My latest research track:

  • Explore middle names that were used by Nancy’s children for their own offspring.
  • Do a thorough review of all the neighbors from early census records, and also those mentioned in the deeds.
  • Look at the spouses of her children for possible connections.
Transcription of Nancy's mark on the 1817 deed to Nathan F. Dixon.  So, Nancy was not able to write her name.

Transcription of Nancy’s mark on the 1817 deed to Nathan F. Dixon. So, Nancy was not able to write her name.

8. Rachel Smith (1734? – ?).   I estimate that my 7th great grandmother 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.  She married Thomas Arnold around 1754 and they had 5 children that I know of: Lucy, Asa, Catherine, Aaron, and Philadelphia. My most recent clue is that Thomas Arnold purchased some property from John and Mary Smith very early on in Smithfield.  The children ended up in Cumberland, but the story of Thomas and Rachel seems to end around 1775 and although the children stayed in Cumberland, I can find no further trace of Thomas and Rachel – perhaps they died young.  Truly, this one may never be solved which, of course, just seems like a fun challenge.

My latest research track:

  • Pursue the early, local Smiths
  • Keep looking for the exact John and Mary Smith that sold land to Thomas Arnold, following clues in the deed, which I now have.
  • Try looking at town council records for Smithfield.

 

Smithfield records, held in Central Falls, will probably be the best source of Rachel's family.

Smithfield records, held in Central Falls, will probably be the best source of Rachel’s family.

9. James Anderson (1748?-1796).  With the help of some fellow researchers I know so much about my 5x-great grandfather James Anderson of Fells Point, Baltimore, later Chester, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.  Usually, knowing this much should have led, long ago, to knowing about his origins, but not so in this case.  His original family and place of birth remain a mystery.

My latest research track:

  • My cousins and I are focusing on DNA at this point.
  • Of the latest clues uncovered here and there, the ones that seem the most realistic are for other, earlier Anderson privateers off the coast of Maryland.  I may be able to explore those clues further in Maryland court records online, or at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  • Think about how to acquire further records which may be held in England.

New York No 759. These are to Certify that Capt James Anderson was by a Majority of Votes regualrly admitted a Member of the New York Marine Society at a Meeting held the 11th day of June A.D. 1781 Given under my hand and the Seal of the Society this 11th day of June - Annoque Domini 1781.  Geo. Fowler Sec. [illegible] President.

New York No 759. These are to Certify that Capt James Anderson was by a Majority of Votes regualrly admitted a Member of the New York Marine Society at a Meeting held the 11th day of June A.D. 1781 Given under my hand and the Seal of the Society this 11th day of June – Annoque Domini 1781. Geo. Fowler Sec. [illegible] President.

10. Nathaniel Brown (1741? – 1798).  The last one is from my neglected line of Haydens/Parmenters, a closely intermarried family in Sudbury, Massachusetts that has not been that difficult to trace.  Nathaniel Brown married Elinor Hayden in 1761 in Sudbury and was “of Framingham” but I know the neighborhood where my ancestors lived was right on the border between Sudbury and Framingham, so he may have been very close by.  Nathaniel and Elinor had 11 children, and he died rather young in 1798.  There is a strong theory that he is the son of Thomas Brown and Abigail Cheney, originally of Cambridge, but no real proof.  And Brown was a common name in early Sudbury so anything is possible.  Deeds and probate have not solved this yet.

My latest research track:

  • Keep looking through probate records for local possible fathers of Nathaniel, to see if they mention him
  • Go through Nathaniel’s earliest land transactions more carefully.  He took over the farm of Elinor’s father, so the transactions are not that revealing.  Could he have been a cousin?  How did he have money for a purchase?
  • Learn more about the early history of Sudbury and the place of the Browns in it.
An early Sudbury house built by the Parmenters, in a line more closely related to Midge's husband than to mine.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

An early Sudbury house built by the Parmenters.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

In closing

It’s possible I wrote this so I could choose my next project.  Still not sure which it will be.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/10/17/my-top-ten-genea-mysteries/

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I recently pinned down the family of Hannah Andrews, my ggg-grandmother.  I thought I would give an account here of how that happened.

My relationship to Hannah Andrews (counting up from my grandmother):

  • Hannah Andrews (1819 – 1878), my 3rd great grandmother
  • Emma Luella Lamphere (1857 – 1927), daughter of Hannah Andrews
  • Russell Earl Darling (1883 – 1959), son of Emma Luella Lamphere
  • Edna May Darling (1905 – 1999), my grandmother, daughter of Russell Earl Darling

I have documented Hannah previously in On Poverty, Records, and Chicken ThievesThe Brick Wall Stories: A Theory on Hannah Andrews and The Brick Wall Stories: Hannah Andrews.  I have listed a lot of sources there, so I won’t do that today – just my thought process as I went through this for the last 4 years.  Future work on these lines will bring up more documentation.

The story of Hannah Andrews

Hannah’s youngest child was my gg-grandmother Emma Luella Lamphere.  I had to trace Emma’s scattered history back a ways to even find Hannah.  Emma had been born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (and that was as far back as our vague family recollections went), but thanks to census records I began to realize her parents were from southern New England, and I found them and their Connecticut-born older children in some basic Connecticut sources.  I knew Hannah’s name from her marriage to Russell Lamphere recorded at Norwich, Connecticut in 1838.  Hannah Andrews, of Ashford, Connecticut.

Norwich Town 11 June 1838 Russell Lamphere of Norwich and Hannah Andrews of Ashford entered in the marriage relation before me .  Joel R. Arnold, Pastor of the Congl Church Colchester.  Received July 5, 1878.  Simeon [?] Town Clerk

Norwich Town 11 June 1838 Russell Lamphere of Norwich and Hannah Andrews of Ashford entered in the marriage relation before me . Joel R. Arnold, Pastor of the Congl Church Colchester. Received July 5, 1838. Simeon [Thomas?] Town Clerk

Hannah married Russell Lamphere and had four children in the industrial areas of Norwich Falls and Greenville, Connecticut: William H. (b. 1840), Sarah E. (b. 1843), Charles C. (b. 1844), and Caroline M (b. 1847).  In the 1850 census Russell is listed as a “Machinist” with property worth $700; really not a bad level of prosperity considering he was one of 14 children and would likely have received nothing from his father at that point.

During the early years of her marriage, Hannah often lived near or with an “Alden Andrews“, a farmer a year or two older than her, who married twice and became the father of a number of children.  Later in the 1880’s (after Hannah’s death), one of Alden’s sons lived in Russell’s household and was working in the mill with Russell.  This, as well as the fact that Alden named his first son Russell, is how I knew early on that Alden and Hannah were siblings.

Russell Lamphere was an ambitious man who took his family from the booming mill town of Norwich, Connecticut and headed south to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to start a business around 1852.  The south was anxious to process more of their own cotton and not depend on northern industries so much; I can only assume that this may have been part of his motivation. I wonder how they made the trip?   The Lampheres were not used to traveling – Russell’s brother William reported in his 80’s that he had never left their county in Connecticut – I wonder if the trip was by water, with an inland journey by carriage?  A younger sister or cousin of Russell, and her new husband, also found their way to Tuscaloosa, but otherwise, they went alone.

Hannah and Russell’s last child, Emma was born in 1854 in Alabama, and, lacking birth records, there could have been other children who did not survive.  I learned from Tuscaloosa newspapers (In Which I Stoop to Buying Microfilm) that Russell’s business partner died around 1860, and Russell opened a metalworking shop in downtown Tuscaloosa.  I am still uncertain what the original business was.

The business Russell advertised after the death of his partner.

The business Russell advertised in 1861 after the death of his partner.

Other than a family memory that things didn’t go well with the business because of the Civil War, and that it was unsafe after the war, no one really knows how it all went for them.  Hannah raised her young children and, presumably, watched them become quite southern, during divisive times.  The Tuscaloosa newspapers of the 1860’s were full of bitter, hateful reporting leading up to the Civil War.  How was that atmosphere for Russell and Hannah?  Were they conflicted?  The sons were grown by the time the war broke out. Charles definitely served in the Civil War as a Confederate soldier and stayed in the South for the rest of his life, and I believe William died in 1912 in Tuscaloosa.  In both cases I am basing this on how they named their children and some claims about being born in Connecticut.  There had been some letters from a civil war soldier among my family’s possessions, now lost – I suspect these were from Charles or William to their parents.  I’m sure the well being of her family and the safety of her sons placed Hannah squarely on the southern side of this conflict.

Towards the end of her life Hannah suffered from a “long and painful illness.”  She may have been ill when the 1870 census taker came around to a room in a boarding house shared by Emma and her father in Meridian, Mississippi (A Story Just Like Russell Lamphere’s). I have not found any other family member in the 1870 census. Where were Hannah and her daughters Sarah and Caroline? Could their absence have something to do with Hannah’s illness?

Hannah's daughter Emma Lamphere Darling , 1857-1927.  Emma, her daughter and granddaughter were tall and thin, with long, narrow faces and a sort of stateliness. My guess would be, Hannah looked something like that.

Hannah’s daughter Emma Lamphere Darling , 1857-1927. Emma, her daughter and granddaughter were tall and thin, with long, narrow faces and a sort of stateliness. My guess would be, Hannah looked something like that.

Between 1870 and 1875, Russell and Hannah moved the family up to Johnston, Rhode Island, just outside of Providence, where Russell was a “Manufacturer of Cotton Goods” according the the Rhode Island state census.  The west side of Providence, and Johnston, were filled with many textile manufacturing operations, large and small, at that time.  Daughters Sarah and Emma were living with them.  I have never determined what happened to Caroline, but she may have come north with the family since Russell’s obituary, much later, mentions a daughter in Eden Park, Cranston, who could not possibly be the other two daughters.  After leaving the south, it’s likely Hannah never saw her two sons again, although I can’t be sure of that.

Hannah died in 1878 in Providence, of gall stones.  She is buried in an unmarked grave at Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, likely a plot purchased by her husband in happier times.

from The Providence Daily Journal, June 25, 1878.

from The Providence Daily Journal, June 25, 1878.

Within the next year or two, her daughters Emma and Sarah married, and her husband remarried.  Was her illness another long, sad note in the difficult times this family faced?  Or was it actually relatively brief?  Did it impact how the business venture in Johnston went?  The family had moved on to Providence by the time of her death, where by 1880 Russell was an overseer in a large mill, obviously not his own.  It’s sad to think of them burying her far away (and Russell followed her, a couple of decades later), and probably thinking, for years, that they would put up a headstone, a plan that never came to fruition.

Section 6, Plot 9, "R & W Lamphere" at Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, Connecticut

Section 6, Plot 9, “R & W Lamphere” at Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, Connecticut

Who were the Andrews? 

At first, I thought it would be easy to discover the Andrews of Ashford, Connecticut, and learn about Hannah’s origins.  Ashford is a little town in rural northeastern Connecticut, well north of Norwich. I knew Hannah’s story was a little bit complicated, because sometimes she and Alden, or their children, reported them being born in Massachusetts, sometimes Connecticut.  Her Providence death records reported her parents as Jesse and Sarah Andrews (Alden’s 1873 death record lists a father, Jesse, only), and her birth place as Coventry, Connecticut. Nothing much came of the Coventry clue, so I moved back to a more contemporary record.  Knowing she was “of Ashford” in 1838, I checked the 1840 census records.

No Jesse Andrews in the 1840 census.  In 1830, Jesse Andrews was living in Ashford. His household showed only a man, 60-70, and a woman, 50-60.  Next to him was a “Benjamin Andrews”, also in a household of 2, a younger man and woman.  The 1820 census for Ashford showed Jesse Andrews in a bustling household of 11; a male over 45, a female 26 – 44, and 8 of the occupants were 16 or under.  One person was engaged in Agriculture and 5 in Manufactures.  The 1810 and prior census records showed no Jesse Andrews anywhere in Windham County.  I readily admit, I was confused.  How could that lonely household of 2 in 1830 have been the family of Hannah and her brother Alden, who would have been around 11 and 13 that year?

Ashford, from Connecticut Historical Collections by J.W. Barber, New Haven, 1836, p. 417.

Ashford, from Connecticut Historical Collections by J.W. Barber, New Haven, 1836, p. 417.

I set about hunting every Jesse Andrews I could, in New England.  One was married to “Sarah” and they lived their lives in Montague, Massachusetts.  The trouble was, in the years when Hannah and Alden could have been born, they were busy having several other children, and they raised a large family and never left Montague.  They were never in Ashford.

The only other Jesse Andrews that married a “Sarah” was a 1795 marriage record in Warwick, Rhode Island, for Jesse Andrews and “Sally Arnold.” Surely, that was too early for children born in 1817 and 1819.  And, of all the Connecticut and Massachusetts references I had seen, no mention was ever made of Rhode Island.

A visit to Ashford showed no vital or probate records for any of the people I knew, or any likely Andrews.  On another trip I went to Eastford, an offshoot of Ashford, again, nothing.

Key Fact #1

The one thing my Ashford visit turned up was a deed from Jesse Andrews to Alden Andrews in January, 1838 for the purchase of a 50 acre tract of land in southeastern Ashford.

It was good and bad news.  The names were unusual enough, and the year was the exact year that tied her family to Ashford, 1838, so I had to accept that this was Hannah’s family.  That was great, I had found them.  What was bad was the poor documentation and subsequent disappearance of Andrews from Ashford.  In the only other deed for Jesse, he (“of Ashford”) purchased the same property, with a mortgage, in 1832.  Alden lost the property by 1840, and was in Springfield, Massachusetts when he married for the first time.  I suspect Jesse was dead by 1840.

And here things sat for quite a while.  I pursued a line of Andrews that came from Ipswich, Massachusetts to Preston, Connecticut for quite a long time, and some Andrews from the Hartford area.  Alden’s name is unusual enough that I felt, for sure, I would find it.  I didn’t.

About a year and a half ago I began again my hunt for Jesse and Sarah, and this Benjamin Andrews who was a neighbor.

Key Fact #2

It’s almost hard to say why this clue was so big, but as I searched census records I finally noticed that there was an 1850 census record in Eastford for Benjamin Andrews, who was a 41 year old recent widower with two children, and a woman named Sarah Andrews, 74 and both Benjamin and Sarah reported being born in Rhode Island. 

Suddenly, it all made sense.  Benjamin was another son of Jesse Andrews, and Sarah was his mother, who was by then a widow.  If they came from Rhode Island, she could be the “Sally Arnold” who married Jesse Andrews in 1795.  Benjamin could have been born in Rhode Island around 1809.  Jesse and Sarah could have been the older couple in Ashford in 1830.  Sarah’s age when Hannah was born in 1819 could have been, say, 44.  Not completely crazy.

I visited the Connecticut State Library around this time, and learned that Sarah continued to live with Benjamin, during his second marriage, until she disappeared from the Norwich city directories about 1862.  No death or probate records, and that was too bad because I was hoping to find a death record that gave Sarah’s maiden name.  None turned up.  Benjamin himself developed quite a criminal record towards the end of his life and spent time in prison.

I began studying the Warwick Jesse and Sarah Andrews in earnest.  I learned several things:

  • Jesse was the son of Phillip Andrews, according to his marriage record and a manuscript I found at the Rhode Island Historical Society.  This rather obscure Andrews family descended from a North Kingstown, Rhode Island founder – one of the Fones purchasers – John Andrews (sometimes McAndrews).  Jesse had a grandmother named Hannah.
  • Jesse’s part of this family was not well documented, but he and one brother, Christopher, had detailed marriage records that have survived.
  • Phillip, the father, had an active military career in the French and Indian Wars and the American Revolution.  He was sometimes in the company of a Benjamin Andrews. The name of his wife is unknown. He died before 1795 when he was “dec’d” on Jesse’s marriage record. No probate.
East Greenwich Town Hall, formerly the Kent County Courthouse.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

East Greenwich Town Hall, formerly the Kent County Courthouse. Photo by Diane Boumenot.

  • Since I knew from the marriage record that Sally’s father was Joseph Arnold (an extremely common name in that place and time) I noted that Jesse often lived next to a Joseph Arnold, and also another neighbor named Freelove Andrews, possibly Jesse’s widowed mother, whose name is unknown.
  • Jesse’s brother Christopher left Rhode Island in the late 1700’s for Pittstown, Rensselaer, New York.  He became the father of numerous children and he and his children are quite well documented.
  • Jesse had a Seaman’s Protection Certificate issued in 1798 and served on the Brig Fanny out of Providence in 1799.
  • Jesse purchased a small house and lot at the corner of Main and Montrose Streets in East Greenwich in 1797.  He sold it by 1800 and was at that time listed as “Yeoman alias Mariner.”  His wife “Sarah” signed one of the deeds, showing that “Sally” was indeed a “Sarah.”

Jesse appeared with a growing family in the 1800 and 1810 census in Warwick, then disappeared.  Not really knowing Sarah’s exact Arnold family and possible connections, I did an extensive census match-up between Warwick in 1810 and Ashford in 1820 to see if anyone might have accompanied them (A Census of the Census and 9 Other Things I Tried).  Nothing came of that.

Key Fact #3

All of this was helpful, but didn’t prove that the family in Warwick was the same as the family in Ashford.  Then I decided to get some DNA testing done on both my parents. 

Mom’s test came up with dozens of close matches to either Christopher Andrews (Jesse’s brother) or other Andrews of Warwick and East Greenwich, as well as the local families they tended to intermarry with – Sweets, Mattisons, Arnolds, Greenes.  Mom has no other connections in this part of Rhode Island.  It can really only come from Hannah Andrews.  I’m going to continue testing with other companies, but I’m accepting this evidence at this point.

The Old Randall Holden House, from History of Warwick by Fuller.  Randall Holden is a possible ancestor, depending on the exact Arnold line I may discover for Sarah.

The Old Randall Holden House, from History of Warwick by Fuller. Randall Holden is a possible ancestor, depending on the exact Arnold line I may discover for Sarah.

Things I still don’t know

  • Hannah and Russell were married by a Rev. Joel R. Arnold of the Colchester Conn. church, a popular preacher who didn’t stay long.  Now I am wondering if he is related to Sarah.  Duh.  Arnold.  That’s just occurring to me.
  • What happened between 1810 and 1820?  If they were in Massachusetts, where?  I find no evidence in deeds, many of which are actually online.  I see other relatives heading to Vermont or New York, but I never see anyone else going to Massachusetts.  Nearby Massachusetts should be a possibility (just north of Ashford, maybe) but I can’t find any record.  Perhaps Jesse’s mother died, and he had a small inheritance, and went elsewhere to buy land.  But I can’t find it.  I read Warwick town records for this decade, thinking they may have thrown him out, or paid him for something, but no luck.
  • The name Alden - where did that come from?  None of these Arnolds or Andrews had Mayflower roots.
  • Sarah Arnold’s parents will have to be discovered among the early Warwick Arnolds.  Her birth was not recorded, so she may have been in a family that migrated from one town to another, perhaps recording only part of their family.  My biggest clue is the proximity of Joseph Arnold to Jesse Andrews in the census records.
  • While I don’t think there are marked graves for Jesse and Sarah, I at least would like to find some notice of their deaths.
  • I have a theory that the missing children for Jesse and Sarah Andrews in the 1830 Ashford census may have headed south to Norwich, with their older siblings, to work in mills or do piecework at home.  Hannah could really only have met Russell in Norwich.
  • There were many other children in the Warwick 1810 census whose names are not known to me – what became of them?  I see little clear evidence in Warwick, Ashford, or Norwich.
  • It is embarrassing that I only have first name/middle initials for 4 of Hannah’s 5 children.  I normally do much better than that. In Sarah’s case, I sought out her grave and cemetery records, and I certainly sought and sometimes found marriage and death records for all.  If any of their descendants read this, please, let me know if you know one.
  • Now that I have the DNA bug, I’m a little curious about what the DNA of Alden’s descendants might tell us.  I don’t know any of them, but for his oldest son Russell, in particular, I have a lot of leads.

In the meantime, yay.  I found my ancestors right in my own backyard. Much more research will follow.

In summary

Hannah saw a lot in her 59 years.  She was born in a town that was new to her family, moved at least once or twice, and may have been part of the workforce at an early age.  I suspect when she met her husband he seemed far above her in station, and I am quite sure he was a very smart man, a sort of self-educated engineer.  Not much transpired after marriage that was easy or particularly successful, but I have in mind a version of her life where she admires her smart and ambitious husband, is appreciated for her willingness to follow him south, weathers very difficult times during the war, tends her children until, at the end, they must tend her, and is sincerely mourned. Rest in peace.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/09/30/hannah-andrews-brick-wall/

East Greenwich, from Picturesque Rhode Island. P245

East Greenwich, from Picturesque Rhode Island. P245

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