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The Federation of Genealogical Societies conference for 2015 took place last week in Salt Lake City, Utah, alongside the Rootstech Conference.  I arrived on Sunday so I could get several days in at the Family History Library.  I never registered for Rootstech because I knew I couldn’t fit in time at the library and TWO conferences.  I was really looking forward to checking out the Exhibits for new and improved products.

The snowless view of Salt Lake City from my hotel room (except for the tallest mountains).  It was approaching 60 degrees every day, and very pleasant while I was there.

The snowless view of Salt Lake City from my hotel room (except for the tallest mountains). It was approaching 60 degrees every day, and very pleasant while I was there.

As it turns out, I barely went to sessions, partly because a foot problem made it easier to stay in the library and partly because it was a little overwhelming to navigate the conference crowds (over 20,000 Rootstech attendees during the first few days, I heard).  I heard wonderful things about many sessions both at FGS and RootsTech.  The keynote speakers and special events were widely talked about.  So I spent most of the week at the library although it was nice to see genea-friends at other times.

Pansies blooming at the entrance to the Family History Library.

Pansies blooming at the entrance to the Family History Library.

Exhibits

I visited the Exhibits several times.  There were many companies represented, and I enjoyed looking around.  Not as many books as I would have liked, and I only bought two, plus some copies of Going In-Depth, the new genealogy magazine.

Genealogy and the Law, Mayflower Bastard, and two copies of Going in-Depth.

My book purchases: Genealogy and the Law, Mayflower Bastard, and two copies of Going in-Depth.

There were several vendors that I enjoyed talking to:

The ScanPro 3000 is filled with new features.

The ScanPro 3000 is filled with new features.

  • I guess I am some kind of microfilm geek because I had a long talk with the ScanPro 3000 vendor.  The 3000 allows you to scan MULTIPLE pages with one command (swoon), allows for upload to the cloud, and interacts enough with OCR technology to allow you to do some searching on the screen.  I was impressed and I hope these become widely used in libraries.  They are a step ahead, for sure, but still maintain the easy to use menus and buttons genealogists are used to.
This busy booth allowed guests to access their family tree and have a beautiful chart printed on the spot, ready to take home.  I was impressed.

GenealogyWallCharts.com

  • This busy booth, GenealogyWallCharts.com, allowed guests to access their family tree and have a beautiful chart printed on the spot, ready to take home. I was impressed.
Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA

  • I was also impressed that Family Tree DNA set up a large booth and had many employees sit with many, many customers over the course of the conference fielding questions and comments.  DNA testing is confusing, and I thought this was the perfect approach.
A view of one portion of the Exhibits.

A view of one portion of the Exhibits.

Library

I had prepared for months ahead of time by building a workbook of research plans for the Family History Library.  I concentrated mostly on capturing microfilm records.  I would say before the conference the library was just about at capacity, though not so far beyond capacity that it was impossible to get things done.  Once the conference started, traffic in the library slowed way down.

Yes, that was Robert Charles Anderson (The Great Migration series) a bit ahead of me in line.

Yes, that was Robert Charles Anderson (The Great Migration series) a bit ahead of me in line to enter the library Monday morning.

With workbook in hand, I approached the library early Monday morning and waited in line.  Worried about crowds, I found a microfilm machine I liked on the second floor and settled in.  Over the course of five days, I managed to complete my entire workbook.

Workbook and the microfilm machine.

Workbook, tablet, and the microfilm machine.

I have to say my experience with the workbook (and the amount of thinking and planning needed to prepare it) served me very well at the library, keeping me focused and productive.

I examined the following over the course of five days and recorded about 650 images:

  • The (Rhode Island) Andrews genealogy prepared in 1915
  • Manuscripts of work on the early Rhode Island Sweet families
  • Probate records for Joseph Arnold, d.1819, and other Joseph Arnolds
  • Early Rhode Island court record index pages for various names
  • Probate, cemetery, vital, and property records from Coventry, Rhode Island, looking for Phillip Andrews
  • Bristol County, Mass probate records for two people
  • The several versions of an index for Christening records from Southwark, England, looking for my 4th gr-grandfather James Lawrence
  • Marriage records from St. Mary’s, Lambeth, England, for James and Elizabeth Lawrence
  • Pictou County, Nova Scotia Estate files, looking for Robert Murdock
  • Early Westerly, Rhode Island town, land and probate records, looking for the original Lamphere and Tefft lands
  • A map of George Lamphere’s property division among his children, circa 1731
  • Later Westerly probate records, looking for Tefft or Minor
  • Preston, Connecticut church records, looking for Minors
  • Two early Norwich, Conn. city directories, looking for Lampheres and Andrews
  • Tuscaloosa, Ala. property records, looking for Russell Lamphere or his partner, Wm B. Murrell.  Also probate for Murrell
A page from a Sweet genealogy manuscript.
A page from a Sweet genealogy manuscript. This was a camera picture right at the microfilm machine.  I scanned important documents at the computer microfilm readers.
  • Norwich District probate (Conn.) for Elisha Minor of Preston
  • Norwich, Conn. property records looking for Andrews and Lampheres
  • A rare Cranston, R.I. city directory from 1895, looking for occupants of a house on Blackmore Street where I know calling hours were held in 1898
  • Hampden County, Mass. court records
  • Kings County, Nova Scotia Court of Probate records looking for early Coldwells, Martins and Grahams
  • Early Wrentham, Mass. land grants
  • Early Sudbury, Mass records related to the Browns
  • any compiled genealogy work on the Sudbury Browns
  • Northbridge, Mass town council records from 1867
  • about a dozen books related to these same issues

I will be working for the rest of the winter on the documents that I found, and recording the unsuccessful searches, too.

The most important thing that happened

Amidst the hoopla and excitement that week, I was reminded of what is really important about family history.  I never really started this journey to locate cousins, but as every genealogist knows, it does happen sometimes.   After my dad’s DNA test a few months ago, I was contacted by a second cousin.  She and I share great grandparents, Torquil and Sarah (MacLean) MacLean of Englishtown, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Torquil and Sarah had five daughters followed by six sons.  Their children scattered all over Canada and the U.S., and so their grandchildren and great grandchildren never had a chance to know each other.

Torquil MacLean, 1841-1921, from Jo-Anne's original

Torquil MacLean, 1841-1921, from Jo-Anne’s original

My second cousin, Jo-Anne, lives in Orem, Utah.  So when I told her I would be in town during Rootstech, she said that she and her husband would be happy to meet me.  I went to lunch with Jo-Anne and Brent on Friday.  Jo-Anne is an only child, the daughter of two only children.  She has no cousins, and essentially no living relatives outside of her own children and grandchildren, and her husband’s large family.

It was just so great to meet her.  She and her husband couldn’t be nicer, and I enjoyed my time with them so much.  Jo-Anne brought some old pictures and allowed me to scan them with my Flip-Pal portable scanner.  We looked at all the pictures and talked about the memories they brought up, of things we have been told over the years.

Sarah (MacLean) MacLean, 1852-1940, from Jo-Anne's original

Sarah (MacLean) MacLean, 1852-1940, from Jo-Anne’s original

When Jo-Anne turned to the page with the photographs of Torquil and Sarah MacLean that I have seen all my life, I had a feeling I seldom experience in genealogy.  Put DNA aside, put records aside, when she showed me those photos, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that we were family.  Her copies were superior to ours – her family had originals and our photos, I recall, were copies made in the 1960’s and given to my father.  But both families treasured those photos for many years.

Torquil and Sarah lost some children during their lifetimes, particularly Sarah, who had one son left out of six by the time of her death in 1940.  It was this rather tragic story that influenced my grandmother, after the untimely death of her husband, to NOT return to Nova Scotia, where dangerous occupations were the norm at the time.  She wanted her children to be safe and live long, productive lives (which they absolutely continue to do).  But I don’t think Torquil and Sarah would really want to be remembered that way.  If their great grandchildren befriend each other, I think that would be a much more fitting legacy.

Jack MacLean, Josie MacLeod (dark skirt), and Jack's sister-in-law Sadie (Campbell) MacLean, in Englishtown, approximately 1918.

Jack MacLean, Josie MacLeod (dark skirt), and Jack’s sister-in-law Sadie (Campbell) MacLean, in Englishtown, approximately 1918.

Jo-Anne has already brought a lot of happiness to my family by unearthing a picture of my grandparents, Jack MacLean and Josie MacLeod, apparently just prior to their marriage.  No other such picture of them exists; I am making copies and mailing them to my father and his siblings.

I have started a MacLean web page where I will do my best to arrange the stories and pictures (or links to such things) that come my way from Torquil and Sarah’s descendants.

The post you are reading is located at: http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/02/17/fgs-conference-2015/

Jo-Anne's beautiful grandmother, Margaret MacLean, R.N.

Jo-Anne’s beautiful grandmother, Margaret MacLean, R.N.

 

Since my previous report on my efforts to try DNA testing, a lot has happened.  Here is an update.

Family Finder on Family Tree DNA

My mom and dad both took the Family Finder test. The results were interesting, but I began to realize that it would also be helpful to start having more relatives in the mix.  Towards the end of 2014, Family Tree DNA started offering discount coupons on each account. Somehow I managed to purchase the Family Finder test as an add-on to my existing MtDNA test, instead of a new test kit – oops!  I hadn’t even realized such a thing was possible. I wrote to them for help, and eventually got a reply, and after a phone conversation, we agreed on a partial refund.  Which was nice, because it was mostly my own stupidity that caused this.

My plan is to administer the test to another relative to help me distinguish the source of some of mom’s particular DNA.  I have a peculiar lack of relatives on that side – mom had an identical twin (well that’s not so helpful, DNA-wise) and no other siblings, and only one first cousin.  She had two second cousins who have recently passed away, one with no descendants.  So, I think mom’s first cousin is able and willing, and I will pursue that question, now that my new kit is in hand.

So now I have Family Finders for myself, Mom and Dad.  It has been rather interesting to have results for all of us.

Looking at Family Finder tests

There is far more data analysis available through Family Tree DNA than there is on Ancestry DNA, although the down side is there are far fewer trees to look at. When the results came into Family Tree DNA, I recognized some “old friends” from mom’s Ancestry DNA test.  But now, I was able to do more with those matches.

Family tree DNA allows you to do some analysis pretty easily.  Here are some examples.

After months of looking things over and utilizing some tools in Family Tree DNA, I have learned some things about mom's closest matches.

Mom’s 9 closest matches.  I’m on top.  After months of looking things over and utilizing some tools in Family Tree DNA, I have learned some things about mom’s closest matches.

Here are mom’s top matches.   By default, the list sorts by size of largest block.  But it also can be interesting to look at the total shared cM.

#1 is me – we match very closely of course.

Match #3 is someone I had corresponded with on Ancestry DNA and he is part of my Andrews connection.  He told me about a match we share, which was mom’s #2 match.  With some advice from #3 I approached #2 for more information – he has no tree or data on Family Tree DNA.  I got a friendly response and a little data, which #2 expanded on – he had already begun researching this himself.  I need to do my own research on #2 and this may lead me to answers for some of my Andrews questions.  Match #9 is part of that group as well.

Matches #4, #5, and #6 have no trees and few or no surnames listed.  About all I can do with such people is see who ELSE they match with, hoping those folks have trees.  I would do this as follows:

  • Turn on Show Full View so I could see the Longest Block measurement, and “+ Compare in Chromosome Browser” for each match.
DNA matches

When you click Show Full View, the Compare in Chromosome Browser choice shows up below each entry.

 

  •  Try the Run Common Matches button to see who they ALSO match from among mom’s matches – use In Common With
In Common With shows up when you click the last of the four symbols below the name.

In Common With shows up when you click the last of the four symbols below the name.

  • From there, choose people to put into the Chromosome Browser.  See if they match in the same place.
  • Another choice is to use the Matrix feature (under My DNA — Family Finder — Matrix).

By running those features I developed several groups of matches with a fair idea of where, approximately, they might match me or mom.  Based on what I’ve been reading, I paid more attention to matches that both mom and I share, which is a good clue about non-random matches.  So far, the groups have been interesting but only the Andrews one, noted in my first DNA post, seems definite. The other groups need to be explored more.

A third cousin

It was match #7 that has been the biggest surprise.  First of all, because Family Finder sorts the matches by largest block, it was a LONG time before I finally noticed that he was mom’s largest match by far at 112.97 cM.  He matches me at approximately half that amount.  A match of that size is likely to be, say, a second cousin 1x removed.  A match of half that size is likely to be a third cousin.  It looked like I had found someone who was a third cousin to me, and second cousin 1x removed to my mom.

#7 offered very little in the way of names on the Family Tree DNA site.  I wrote to him.  We corresponded once or twice and he gave me some names and details of his grandparents.  His paternal side was clearly not matching my family.  On his maternal side, he mentioned some names and places that didn’t match what I had.  He had a Martin, but from the wrong place.

I began researching one side of his maternal line.  What a fascinating, large family.  I traced numerous great aunts and uncles, each story more intriguing than the last.  I found pictures, court records, and newspaper items.  Eventually, I found enough to reluctantly convince myself I was not related to those people. So I moved on.

The other side had a Carson who married a Martin.  There was some confusion about what the first name was.  Using what I had, I began to research.  One of the first things I found was a census record and suddenly, it all became clear, although it took me several days to gather additional evidence.

I found Lillian (from Canada) and James (from Ireland) Carson living in Somerville, Massachusetts with their son in 1900.  Also in the household was sister in law Hazel Martin, born March, 1885.  I know who Hazel Martin was, in fact, I had saved the census record in my Shoebox on Ancestry years ago.  Hazel Violet Martin was the younger sister of my great grandmother, who had died in 1897.  In 1905 Hazel married Frederick Bamblett in Providence, Rhode Island, and she died in Detroit in 1907.

Bessie Martin Baldwin,1870 - 1897

My great grandmother Bessie had another sister, May, that I could never account for.  She was listed in the census records before the family left Canada.  She, for some reason, was a witness to Bessie’s first (unused) marriage license.  She was the maid of honor at my great grandparents’ wedding. It was obvious that May must have been the author of “Teddy’s Book.” What I had never realized was that May Martin was really Lillian May Martin.

Marriage announcement of Bessie Blanche Martin, The Milton News/Dorchester Advertiser, vol. XII, No. 24, Saturday, Sept 10, 1892. From microfilm, Boston Public Library.

Marriage announcement of Bessie Blanche Martin, The Milton News/Dorchester Advertiser, vol. XII, No. 24, Saturday, Sept 10, 1892. From microfilm, Boston Public Library.

As I went back to review what could be known about my grandparents’ wedding, I saw probably the most compelling clue:  James Carson (Lillian May Martin’s husband) was the best man.  I had never put the clue in the newspaper clipping together with the clue in the census record that was a possible match for sister Hazel.  Evidentia would have solved this one, I think.  I hadn’t used it on Bessie Martin.

Bessie and sister Clara ... hopefully having fun at a fair (those hats can't be for real!)

Bessie (in back) and sister Clara … hopefully having fun at a fair … unless those hats were the latest thing.

My additional evidence is a bit garbled because of the inconsistency with which the siblings reported their parents as “Marston/John/Jonathan” and “Maria/Elizabeth.”  I know this sounds incongruous, but these are the same people, and for some reason in the 1890’s the family sometimes went with the alternate versions (particularly, on my great grandmother’s death record).  I have some evidence that they never really obtained any citizenship status, so maybe they had something to hide.  Or it’s possible middle names were used at random (like Lillian May).  I don’t know.

But what it really all added up to was that I had found the author of “Teddy’s Book.”

Teddy’s Book

We knew almost nothing about my great-grandmother Bessie Blanche Martin (1870-1897) when I started genealogy.  I chronicled her story here, here, here, and here (and don’t miss The Runaway Bride of Newton, Massachusetts). We had a tintype of her, a picture of her and her sister Clara, a picture of Clara holding a baby, and a tiny homemade album of scraps and quotes called “Teddy’s Book” which was clearly created by someone for my grandfather when he was a small child. From those clues one would suspect Clara had been the sister she was closest to, but as I learned more I realized that Clara married and moved away, and it must have been May, still home in Milton, Massachusetts, that was close to her sister when my Grandfather was small.

My great grandmother died the day after giving birth to her second child, Blanchard “Jim” Baldwin.  Cause of death was listed as cancer of the stomach.  One has to picture the illness and pregnancy as a sad and difficult time, assuming this was known.  My great grandfather, Miles E. Baldwin, quickly married again.

Teddy Baldwin's Book

Teddy Baldwin’s Book

But in the pages of “Teddy’s Book,” written for my grandfather when he was about 5, around 1898 (shortly before the family left Newton) we get a glimpse of a Teddy’s doting and attentive aunts, obviously constant visitors at the Baldwin household both before and after the death of Bessie.  They clearly adored their nephew, to the point of making a little scrap book filled with his “sayings” as well as snippets of his mother’s clothes.  They spoke kindly of the new wife, either because they genuinely liked her or perhaps for the sake of their nephew … in either case, it was a loving, supportive gesture.

Things did not go all that easily for my grandfather once his family moved out of town and he went on without his mother and the loving aunts.  I imagine he felt that loss, unknowingly, for the rest of his life.  Lillian May’s life was difficult, filled with loss in the succeeding years.  The author of the sweet and charming book, a happy fiance and, later, wife, also fared rather badly as life went on.

"Last night gown mama made" and other remnants

“Last night gown mama made” and other remnants

The DNA match filled in a story that I half knew, and, I hope, helped both sets of descendants get a glimpse of happier times.  I have recorded the full contents of Teddy Baldwin’s Book” as a pdf HERE for them to see.

"From gray flannel skirt" - perhaps that is Bessie's stitching.

“From gray flannel skirt” – perhaps that is Bessie’s stitching.

In closing

I had put this information together in December, and on Christmas Eve morning, sent it to my third cousin, supposing that if he saw his family he would pass it on.  I got a very nice reply from his mother, and corresponded with her a bit.  I am glad to have met them – and in fact, I have “met” online some of Clara’s descendants, too – and it seems good to put some pieces back together, even in such a small way, of what was obviously once a supportive family group.

Later in February, I am going to meet another second cousin on my father’s side. She emailed me a picture which was a big hit with my family.  I didn’t exactly start DNA to connect with cousins, but it has been rather amazing to do so.

Next steps

My aspiration at this point is to use the following blog posts to process some of the other information a little better:

SO MUCH to learn with DNA, and it’s slow.  I don’t know Roberta J. Estes, author of the DNA eXplained blog, but she appears to be some kind of genius. Her work at dna-explained.com is extensive, well written and really illuminating.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2015/12/30/dna-and-teddys-book/

 

 

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/

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 Frances 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 two forms 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 Frances 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.

A visit to the Family History Library

As an ambassador for the upcoming Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in February, 2015, to be held in connection with Rootstech at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, I have a lot of work to do to get ready for this conference.

I am arriving several days in advance of the conference to use the Family History Library.  It will be my second visit.  I am really, really looking forward to it, and preparing much more than you would think.

The notebook idea

I will only get to the Family History Library every few years, at most.  Since it’s a chance to access all the microfilm in the world, and lots of books, I need to prepare well to get the most benefit from this.

A couple months ago I was visiting a local city hall archives and ran into a man who was researching a local historical topic.  He was asking me a few questions and we got to talking, and he pulled out his notebook.  I have to admit I was fascinated by it.  He had developed pages of typed notes with pictures and maps, in color, scattered through the pages. I suspected it was, essentially, a draft of the book he hoped to put together.   He had the materials printed double sided in color and spiral-bound.  It was just maybe 200 pages with the spiral binding.  It was lightweight, portable, and easy to use even on cramped tables.  He scrawled some notes on it; it was clearly his working copy.

My spiral bound book

My spiral bound book

I couldn’t stop thinking about the little notebook and decided, in November when a coupon came up for a big discount at lulu.com, that I would try it.  I put together my tree charts, color coded according to sections of the tree. I copied into Word some of my blog posts that I thought I would be most likely to want to refer to in the library, downsized the pictures, and saved those as pdf’s.  I forgot to add my pdf Evidentia reports, but I would do that another time.  I uploaded these separate pdf documents into lulu.com, then combined them into one book.  I made a cover and ordered.

When the spiral book arrived, it was attractive, but I was disappointed at how heavy it was.  I forgot lulu uses extra heavy paper for color printing.  I think the point of the notebook is that it should NOT be a lot to lug around.  And, the paper was shiny, not good for writing on.

A page from the red portion of the chart

A page from the red portion of the chart

Looking at the notebook gave me some new ideas.  If I really wanted to write in it, I should leave space for that.  And, I decided during my last trip that I might prefer to bring my list of microfilms on, say, a clipboard, instead of using an electronic device.  What if I combined these ideas into one custom, spiral notebook?

The workbook for FHL

I realized that what I really wanted was a workbook for my library visit.

So I created a form for collecting my microfilm lists.  I wanted to copy the details of the film from the familysearch.org catalog.  My pages should be suitable for taking a few notes, since I will mostly be saving scans of each page I need, but I would like to document what I saw and what I saved, and some notes about the content.  I also wanted to note in advance on each page what I was looking for, and to check the item off after I was done. I wanted an indication along the edge of which research problem this was part of.  I think I will add an extra ruled page on the reverse of each sheet.

My micorfilm form for the notebook

My microfilm form for the notebook

I’ve spent several weeks gathering about 25 pages, and I will work on this for about another month.  I’m trying to focus on no more than three or four research problems and to look for unique resources that are either inconvenient or impossible to obtain elsewhere.  So far I have found some unusual local records, plus some records from Nova Scotia and England. Given the restrictions in some Rhode Island repositories, I also will be looking at some records that it would be hard to print or photograph elsewhere.

I like to search the FamilySearch.org catalog by place name or family name, and I’m finding such interesting stuff.  Of course, some family genealogy books have now been digitized and I guess I would have to access those on site through a computer.

Another page from the microfilm sheets

Another of the microfilm sheets

I will try, when I am there, to concentrate on reading records and NOT race through trying to capture as many screens as possible.  This is difficult for me to do, but I will try.  I always feel like I will concentrate better at home, reading what I’ve copied, but then I lose the chance to use new ideas to find additional materials.

Sometimes I dropped images into place that I know I might want to refer to. dropping text and images into the Word document was surprisingly easy - if my ruled lines went over onto the next page, I just deleted some.

Sometimes I dropped images into place that I know I might want to refer to. Dropping text and images into the Word document was surprisingly easy – the form accommodated all that.

I will want to look through the books, and I usually park myself in the stacks for a while looking through everything related to certain locations.  I also have started a book list.

The book list, for the notebook

The book list, for the notebook

So the NEW spiral notebook, which I will order in black and white about a month before I leave, will contain:

  • The tree charts
  • Some useful posts from my blog
  • The few Evidentia reports I have made so far
  • The microfilm worksheets
  • The book list

I will probably carry this spiral bound book around for about a year to libraries.  It will cost less than $10.

The Word document used for the microfilm page is HERE.

A few words in hindsight

I’m adding this note about 6 months later:  I spent about 3 months after my visit going through all the records and images I had saved, and my notebook.  I carefully recorded in my real files the searches I had tried that didn’t work, and I closely examined everything I brought back.  A few things I learned:

  • I managed to finish the entire workbook during 5 long days in Salt Lake City.
  • always make a note about result on the notebook page, even if it’s just “see images on camera”, “see saved scans in SMITHFIELD folder” or “nothing relevant found.”
  • I should have left more room for notes on the book list.  You take just as many notes from books as from microfilm.
  • I didn’t use the blog posts that I had included in the notebook because it turns out that when you thoroughly prepare for a repository trip, you are NOT paging through old notes for that one fact.  You don’t need to.
  • The tree charts were useful.
  • I wish I had numbered each page because it would have helped me monitor my progress.
  • Next time, I will make up some useful blank forms for sets of records, like deeds, and add those in the book.  This will help me to document those deed pages that I scan from microfilm.
  • As I reviewed the notebook at home, I added sticky tabs to the pages where I think I can follow up at another library or site, saying “Warwick City Hall” or “RI Historical Society”.  I’ve done a few of those, and when I finish the last 3-4, it will be time to get rid of the notebook.

The post you are reading is located at: http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/12/11/a-workbook-family-history-library

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

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.

Choosing a gift for a genealogist can be puzzling.  Loved ones and, especially, relatives want to be supportive but don’t know how.  To those who search for that perfect idea, maybe one below will be right for your favorite genealogist.  Also, see if there are additional ideas in the comments.

Computers and electronics

  • 1. The newest thing I’ve seen this year looks intriguing, but I’ve never tried it and I’m having trouble even finding a vendor (this one is from Canada).  ZCAN+  looks like a mouse, but it’s a scanner!  Thanks to Thomas McEntee of Hack Genealogy for that tip.  He knows about all the cool stuff.
Nope, it's not a mouse.  It's a scanner.

Nope, it’s not a mouse. It’s a scanner.

  • 2. For the experienced genealogist, I like the Evidentia 2 software for analyzing sources and evidence along the lines of the genealogical proof standard.  As a gift, you would want to buy it on CD.
  • 3. WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External Hard Drive  is recommended by Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers as the one he uses – to quote him “It is light, runs on USB and has auto-backup.”  Personally, I like the red one.
  • 4. For beginners looking for the first genealogy software, try RootsMagic 7.  I also like Family Tree Maker.
  • 5. I still like EyeFi Mobi for auto-download of pictures from your camera onto your computer.
  • 6. Wacom Sketchpad helps you write, draw and edit photos on your computer.  Ever try to edit photos or mark up screenshots for a presentation with a mouse?  Then you know why this is great.  Thanks to Jenny Lanctot of Are My Roots Showing? for the suggestion.

On the road

The GRIT-IT tablet case

The GRIP-IT tablet case

  • 8. Magazines are great when travelling.   Prologue Magazine is published quarterly by the U.S. National Archives and helps the genealogist explore federal records. For those just learning genealogy, Family Tree Magazine is a good choice. For more experienced folks, a membership in the National Genealogical Society will include a subscription to the Quarterly.
  • 9. Here’s an idea I’ve never seen before – AA batteries that re-charge in any USB port.  These would be great in a computer mouse, for travelers, in case the mouse batteries died.
  • 10. Midge Frazel of Granite in My Blood suggests:  “Give the gift of power! Buy a small easily packed lipstick” style charger” for your cell phone  (another sample here).  On the higher end (more for the serious traveler) I love my Mophie.  Midge also suggests that a tiny portable stand (cute colors!) for a phone or tablet might make a good stocking stuffer.
  • 11. Amazon gift cards are useful for letting the genealogist pick out their own book or tech gadget.  This suggestion came from blogger Barbara Poole of Life from the Roots.
  • 12. If your genealogist will be meeting others at conferences, libraries and town halls, making business cards is a fun idea.  My new favorite is Moo cards.
  • 13. A good, simple camera is getting cheaper and cheaper – this Canon looks like a good buy.  Don’t forget to get a memory card to go with it.  Cheaper than photocopies!

Office items

  • 14.  97.8% of genealogists love office supplies.  OK I made that up.  But this little book of sticky Redi-Tag Divider notes was love at first sight.
Redi-Tag Divider Notes would be handy when working in books or notebooks.

Redi-Tag Divider Notes would be handy when working in books or notebooks.

  • 15. These Post-It tabs are great in binders.
  • 16. Barbara Poole of Life from the Roots sent along an idea about custom notepads made with your genealogist’s name and a cute quip (“On the trail of the ancestors of …” or something).  I’m sure many vendors offer custom pads online, or try a local store.
  • 17. If your genealogist is surrounded by books, there are some bookends with index tabs that won’t get lost when the shelves fill up.  Actually, the Container Store has three styles I love:  Index bookends, Tower bookends with a little storage cubby, and Mod bookends.

    Bookends from the Container Store

    Bookends from the Container Store

  • 18. I like magazine files, also from the Container Store.  But I’m still convinced some charming ones could be handmade – some people cut and cover cereal boxes.
Some cute magazine files

Some cute magazine files

Books

  • 19. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  The bible.
  • 20. Elements of Genealogical Analysis by Robert Charles Anderson.  This is new.
  • 21. Guide to Genealogical Writing, 3rd Edition by Penelope L. Stratton and Henry B. Hoff.
  • 22. Guide to Published Genealogies in the Library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, published 2012.  This book is a little expensive, but it’s so nice to have a guide at home to the full range of compiled genealogies.  Then the genealogist can figure out where to find the books needed.
  • 23. If you have deep pockets, and you want to give your favorite genealogist the absolute perfect out of print book about the exact family or location (“for the entire United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, and more”) they’re researching, there’s actually a way to do that!  Buy the NEHGS Classic Reprints Catalog for $12.95. It comes with a credit for $12.95 towards the purchase of a custom reprinted book from the 12,000 mentioned in the catalog.  You could consider a gift certificate to go with it (it would probably be another $30 – $50 or more to get the book) and your genealogist would be all set to choose and order the perfect reprint.  But even a thrifty genealogist could use this book to locate pre-1923 volumes that are available online.
This is typical of the books ordered through the NEHGS reprint program.

This is typical of the books ordered through the NEHGS reprint program.

Genealogical Proof Standard, 4th Edition

Genealogical Proof Standard, 4th Edition

If the genes fit …

  • 32. For those new to DNA testing, and looking for an easy way to try it out, I could recommend an Ancestry DNA test kit.  Your genealogist will use the kit to submit a sample (in fact, it will be important to the genealogist to choose WHO will be sampled) which will be analyzed, and the results, available online, will show links to other individuals, and with any luck, those individuals will be showing an accurate tree online.
  • 33. A better choice for the same money, for a genealogist who is more experienced, is the Family Tree DNA Family Finder test kit.  Family Tree DNA has a more robust promise to maintain your access to your information, and it gives enough information to more accurately allow you to estimate, if the right people are tested, the common source of your matches.

DIY

  • 34. This year, hubs made me a cork bulletin board for the genealogy room.
Bulletin board made for me.

Bulletin board made for me.  I’m thinking about putting a family tree printout on here.

  • 35. Old photos on tile coasters – any genealogist would love these – also same idea and same idea.  I made them with old photos of family houses.
  • 36. A family calendar is popular with Heather Wilkinson Rojo’s family.  She says: “A gift my husband does every year is a family calendar using Power Point.  We give it out at our family Christmas party, and everyone looks forward to it every year. Around Thanksgiving I solicit photos from my family along themes (vacations, or school photos, or sports images) and I also steal photos from everyone’s Facebook accounts.  We arrange the photos for the large calendar pages (above the chart of the months and days) and we also put tiny photos in for everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries.  You can find an old blog post for this here on Heather’s blog Nutfield Genealogy.   Thanks, Heather!  I would never have considered PowerPoint for easily formatting the pictures.  Great idea!
  • 37. Another idea Heather sent along:  “For a few years I made charm bracelets and necklaces with vintage family photos, until everyone I knew had one and I had to think of a new idea.  I got the idea from my daughter.  Everyone loved them, but you can only give it once.”

Shopping local and small business

  • 38. Heritage jewelry from this Etsy shop by Danette Taylor.  I am fascinated by these custom pieces – not sure if I’m more intrigued by the decoupage bangles, the collage brooches, the decorative recipe plates, or the portrait pendants.
An old fashioned pin made with your old photo by Danette Taylor.

An old fashioned pin made with your old photo by Danette Taylor. Picture used with permission.

  • 39. i (chart) you makes beautiful custom ancestor charts; you send the data and they send you the file electronically, ready for you to have printed in the size you prefer.  This would have to be ordered by the genealogist, but a gift certificate (see the last few boxes on the main page) might be nice.  Thanks to Wendy Grant Walter for this idea.
  • 40. Barb’s Branches has some attractive tree jewelry in an Etsy shop.  Among her interesting handmade “tree” pieces, she has the inspired idea of making jewelry from old silver spoons.  Amazing!  Barb is offering my readers a break – for 15% off, use coupon code: RIFAMILY2014 at checkout. The coupon/discount will be good through Dec 31, 2014.
A pendant made from an antique silver spoon, by Barb's Branches.

A pendant made from an antique silver spoon, by Barb’s Branches.  Picture used with permission.

For those with Rhode Island ancestors

Just for Fun

This one still makes my adult kids roll their eyes ... worth it ...

This one still makes my adult kids roll their eyes … worth it …

If you’re not finding what will make your genealogist happy here, try last year’s post.  Hope the links still work!

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/11/09/50-gifts-for-genealogists-2014/

christmas tree

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