Archive for the ‘Spaulding’ Category

I have many saved searches on EBay in the hope that some documents or photos may turn up, concerning my ancestors.  Every day, I receive in email any results of the saved search that might have turned up in the past 24 hours.  I have searches for family names, towns, (and in the case of common names, sometimes a combination of the two) and also books I am looking for.

Recently, my search for Townsend, Massachusetts turned up some historic documents with my ancestor’s name on them.   I didn’t manage to buy the documents but I did keep copies of them.

They concerned Benjamin Spaulding.

Benjamin Spaulding is my grandfather's ggg-grandfather

Benjamin Spaulding is my grandfather’s ggg-grandfather. Chart by FamilyTreeMaker 2012.

Benjamin Spaulding, 1743-1832

The Spalding Memorial: A Genealogical History of Edward Spalding of Massachusetts Bay and his Descendants (by Samuel J. Spalding. Boston: Aldred Mudge, 1872) describes Benjamin as follows :

[p. 108] Lieut. Benjamin (Isaac4, Andrew2, Andrew2, Edward1) b. Aug 14, 1743, in Townsend, Ms. ; d. May 27, 1832, aged 89, in Townsend, Ms., where he resided, and where all his children were born.  He was successful in school-teaching, which occupation was followed by three of his daughters …

According to The Spalding Memorial Benjamin Spaulding had ten children:  Benjamin b. 1767, Peter b. 1769, Mary b. 1771 (m. Peter Lawrence), David b. 1773, Joel b. 1775, Abel b. 1777, Isaac b. 1779, Sarah b. 1782 (m. Peter Shumway), Ephraim b. 1786, Nancy b. 1789 (m. Cushing Wilder).  Only three were daughters, so according to the book all pursued teaching at some point.

“Lieut.” Benjamin Spaulding served in the Revolutionary War.  Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolution, vol. XIV, p. 686  shows that he served 18 days in Col. William Prescott’s Regiment of Massachusetts Minutemen, for the Lexington Alarm.  I have not discovered any further information about his service, but at some point in his life people apparently referred to him as “Lieutenant.”

The documents

I have recorded the contents of the documents, which I am transcribing here although I cannot utilize the pictures since the photographer (the eBay seller) owns those.  There was no provenance indicated at all for the documents so I don’t know how they came to be placed on EBay.

1.  1787 Military List, Townsend

Common Wealth of Massachusetts  Middlesex

To Josiah Burge one of the Copl of the South Company in Townshend Greetting – you are Hereby Required in the Name of the said Common Wealth forthwith to notify and warn all the men whose names are in the List herewith Committed to you that they assemble and meet at the Training field by the Meetting house in said town upon Tusday the Twenty third day of this Instant at one of the Clock in the afternoon in order to Chuse a Captain and Compleat the Company with officers agreeable to orders from Col. Wright —————-

hereof fail not and make due return of this warrant with your doings thereon as you will answer your default under the penelty of the Law in that behalf made and provided  Dated at Townshend the Eleventh day of October in the year of our Lord 1787

Benjn Spaulding Lieut.

A picture, possibly of Benjamin's grandson Daniel Spaulding, who remained in Townsend on the family property (man in white shirt).  Daniels's daughter became a teacher and moved to Gold Hill Colorado, where this picture was among her family documents.  Children and other man unknown.

A picture, possibly of Benjamin’s grandson Daniel Spaulding (man in white shirt), son of Isaac, who remained in Townsend on the family property. Daniel’s daughter Hannah became a teacher and moved to Gold Hill, Colorado, where this picture was among her family documents. Children and other man unknown. Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Branch Library for Local History of the Boulder Public Library.


2. List of names, evidently associated with document 1.  Each name has an X between the first and last name.  Almost every name has a mark before it.  Some names have a mark after them that looks like “Vn.” I am not sure what that is but have repeated it here.    

Column 1:

  • Timothy Fessenden
  • James Giles  Vn.
  • Thos Sever  Vn.
  • Peter Adams
  • Abel Adams
  • Stephen Bruce
  • Jonathan Bailey
  • Abra Ball
  • Jacob Bachelor
  • Elias Boutwell
  • David Bachelor
  • Eliphalet Bailey
  • James Clarke
  • Amos W Dix
  • Jabez Green
  • Lotan Green
  • Francis Goodridge
  • Leonard Green
  • Isaac Giles
  • Daniel Hoult
  • Jona. Hoult
  • Isaac Lewis
  • Silas Lawrence
  • Peter Manning
  • Peter Rumril
  • Isaac Spaulding
  • Benja. Spaulding Vn.
  • Jona. Spaulding
  • Nathl. Shattuck
  • Joel Spaulding
  • Uriah Searl
  • John Searl
  • Josiah Sawtell
  • Azeriah Sherwin
  • Solomon Stevens
  • Ebenr. Tufts
  • Isaac Wallis Vn.
  • John Wesson

Column 2:

  • Moses Burge
  • Eliab Gowen
  • James Searl
  • Jonas Clarke
  • [crossed out] Ada?? Hill
  • Wm. Livingston
  • Nathan Gepson
  • Thos. Barret
  • John Conant
  • Ezekiel Perham
  • Salome Sherwin
  • Wm. Parker
  • Joseph Blood
  • Thos. Hindal
  • Reubin Stevens
  • Gardner Conant
  • Abel Keys
  • [the lower half of the second column repeats the first ten names from Column 1, in a sloppier hand, with “yes” written after Giles and Sever – perhaps the meaning of the Vn symbol – ???]
Benjamin's great grandson Randall Spaulding (son of Daniel) who became the superintendent of Schools of Montclair, New Jersey in the late 1800's.  Picture from Brewer's Directory of School Superindentents and Normal Principals, Chicago, 1907.

Benjamin’s great grandson Randall Spaulding (son of Daniel) who became the Superintendent of Schools of Montclair, New Jersey in the late 1800’s.

3. School payment list.  This paper appears to be two sheets, side by side.  Each had previously been folded.  They appear to be similar lists, from different years.

We the Subscribers Promise and Engage to Lieut Benjn. Spaulding each of us according to the Number of Children we send to School to pay him for the School Mistress Bord for the term of Six Months at three Shillings & Eleven pence per Week to be paid in grain at Cash price ——-

April 24th 1792 ——-

Names _______________ No. Children

  • Benja. Spaulding —————————2  – 0  – 7 – 1 – 1/2
  • Daniel Clarke ——————————-2  – 0  – 7 – 1 – 1/2
  • Ephraim Warren  [Jr.??]  —————–2  – 0  – 7 – 1 – 1/2
  • Peter Manning  —————————–1 – 0 – 3 – 6 – 1/2
  • Life Baldwin  ———————————2  – 0  – 7 – 1 – 1/2
  • Daniel Conant  —————————-2  – 0  – 7 – 1 – 1/2
  • Samuel Searls ——————————-1 – 0 – 3 – 6 – 1/2
  • John Conant  ——————————-2  – 0  – 7 – 1 – 1/2
  • Nathan Carlton  ————————– 1 – 0 – 3 – 6 – 1/2
  • Deborah Stary  ——————————1 – 0 – 3 – 6 – 1/2
  • Jonathan Peirce  ————————– 1 – 0 – 3 – 6 – 1/2
  • Sarah Clarke for 3 months from June 22   1 – 0 – 2 – 1 – 1/2
  • Andrew Searls  ——————————1 – 0 – 0 – 3/4
  • Jno. Emory ———————————-  0 – 0 – 4 – 1/2
  • Stevin Potter [??]  —————————1 – 0 – 3 – 6 – 1/2

We the Subscribers Promise & Engage to Lieut Benjn. Spaulding Each of us according to the Number of Children we send to School provided the Sd. Spaulding bords the Mistress the above Sd Term to be paid in grain at Cash pri[??]

Sept 13th 1791

Name   ———————————- No – Children  [there is another number cut off at the end of each line]

  • Life Baldwin  —       1  —-
  • Peter Manning       1  —-
  • Nathan Carlton      1  —-
  • Eph. Warren Jun.      3 ——
  • Oliver Procter Jun      1  —-
  • Daniel Clark      2  ——-
  • John Conant      2  ————
  • Jonathan Peirce     1  ——-
  • Daniel Conant       2  ———
  • Benjn. Spaulding      2 ———-

Why this is helpful

It was fun to find this evidence that Benjamin Spaulding was indeed a teacher.  If the “Mistress” was a daughter of his, in 1791, that would have to be daughter Mary.  It was also nice to see more evidence that Benjamin was referred to as “Lieut.”

It also occurred to me that this content would be helpful to other family researchers.  I have no evidence of the provenance or authenticity of these, but they certainly look authentic in the pictures.

In Memory of Lieut. Benjamin Spaulding who died May 27, 1832, aged 89.

In Memory of Lieut. Benjamin Spaulding who died May 27, 1832, aged 89. Old Burying Ground, Townsend, Massachusetts.

Using EBay

To get started with saved searches on EBay, start a login, and do a Search for something.  Try not to limit by category, since there are many interesting categories for genealogists:

  • Collectibles includes postcards, historical memorabilia, photographic images, and paper
  • Books including nonfiction
  • Antiques includes maps, atlases and globes
  • Everything Else includes genealogy

For instance, instead of saving a general search for Townsend (which would have too many results) I have it set to search every category for Townsend Massachusetts.

To save the search, at the top of the column of results, look for a star and “Save Search”.  A box comes up allowing you to name the search and showing you that by default, you are set to receive a daily email of any new results.  You can turn that off if you like, and just save the search query to use now and then.  But I think the emails work very well, and if you make your search specific enough, don’t have to produce lots of unwanted results.  When the emails arrive, they provide a link to each listing (up to a maximum of 12).

I have many searches that produce no emails; they remain in my account on the chance that something might turn up someday.

Some of my saved searches from eBay

Some of my saved searches from eBay

The post you are reading is located at:  https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2013/09/02/finding-evidence-on-ebay/

The story of finding Spaulding family artifacts at the Carnegie Branch Library for Local History of the Boulder Public Library is told in my post “How to Use NUCMC to Perform a Miracle”.

Randall Spaulding’s picture courtesy of Rootsweb “Photographs & Biographies of Select School Superintendents, 1907.”

Benjamin Spaulding’s grave photographed by Diane Boumenot.

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Based on advice I heard at many sessions during the FGS 2012 conference in August, I decided to consult the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.  I was familiar with NUCMC from my college library days, but to be honest I hadn’t thought enough about consulting it for genealogy.  I think I focused on the word “manuscript” and didn’t think of it in the very broad sense of any unpublished papers.


I started with some manuscripts that I knew I was looking for, for instance, the papers of Norwich, Connecticut Congressman John Turner Wait.  The NUCMC search screen is not all that intuitive, so it took me a while to develop some methods for successful searching.  I found very little on Mr. Turner, but I did find some interesting documents for some of my grandmother’s family – for instance, she is distantly related to one victim in the Sacco-Vanzetti murders, a paymaster named Frederick Albert Parmenter.  I had pretty good luck using a name and a place:

NUCMC Advanced Search Form on WorldCat using terms “Parmenter” and “Massachusetts”

I had just turned my attention to the Spauldings and Baldwins when I got the biggest surprise I’ve had in a long time:

Searching for “Spaulding” and “Townsend” brought up an entry for some letters from the 1820’s-1830’s.

To see what this was, I chose the “More on …” link, to go to the item record:

My great-great-great-grandmother Polly (Spaulding) Baldwin. In a set of letters?

I couldn’t believe Polly (Spaulding) Baldwin’s name appeared in a set of letters.  My ggg-grandmother died at the age of 33, in 1839.  At the time of her death she was already a widow, living an obscure life.  The idea that something she had written, perhaps a letter, had survived in an archive amazed me.  If I had to rank all direct ancestors in order by how likely they were to have a personal (not legal) document in a repository she probably would have been voted least likely.

To find out where the letters might be, I chose “Tagged Display” to see all tags:

For location, you must look at tag 040 a. In this case it’s CO3.

Surprisingly, when I checked the list of abbreviations,

search OCLC code

location CO3 turned out to be the Boulder Public Library in Colorado.

The Boulder Public Library

Well, that was surprising.  I was on my own to actually look it up at the Boulder Library site, but that wasn’t hard because of the detailed record in NUCMC.  I found what I was looking for located at The Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, and sent a message to the librarian asking if there was any way for me to get digital copies of the letters.  I also saw some evidence of old Spaulding Family photos and inquired about those, too.

As I was waiting for that, I looked into the Colorado folks who had left the letters to the library.  I had seen the name Hannah (Spaulding) Guise of Gold Hill, Colorado before, in her aunt Harriet Spaulding’s probate documents.  Hannah was likely to have been close to her grandmother Lucy and her unmarried aunts Harriet and Ruth since they all lived at her father Daniel’s house while she was growing up.

I read in the Boulder library finding aids that Hannah was a teacher from Townsend, and had written to a Congregational minister in Boulder to look out for a post for her.  This turned out to be Gold Hill, where she met and married miner James Henry Guise.  They had at least one daughter, Mabel (Guise) Montgomery and stayed in Gold Hill for most of their long marriage.  Both Hannah and daughter Mabel (also a teacher) are featured in the Revealing our Roots: Women of Boulder County site.

The Letters

Today the nice librarian sent me the letters.  Amazingly, it turns out that three are written by my ggg-grandmother Polly (Spaulding) Baldwin (1806-1839).  The fourth was written by my gggg-grandmother Lucy (Emery) Spaulding (1789-1862).  I don’t know too much about the provenance of these four letters, except that they ended up in the possession of Hannah Spaulding Guise in Colorado, Polly’s niece.  I don’t know who Sally Bouttell is.  There are clues in here that I will be following for a long time.  I have transcribed the records exactly as they appeared, with transcribing difficulties noted in [brackets].

Letter from “Polly” to “Miss Sally Bouttell, Townsend”

Townsend, Nov 21st 1823
Again I take my pen and atempt writing you a few lines, but what shall be my subject?  Shall religion or the affairs of the world engross our attention? I believe the former will be of the most consequence to us, but as important as it is I feel strangly indifferent to it.  My health not having been as good as usual the past Summer, and hearing others inquire what they should do to be saved, I have been led to reflect on my own state and I have found myself to be a lost sinner and continuing so I must eternally perish but still I remain in the same sinful state, I can say the harvest is past the summer is ended and I am not saved, and why?  The Bible tell us that Christ is ready to receive all all who will come unto him it must be then that it is because I do not come to him that I do have life.  Sometimes the world appears to me as it really is trifling and vain not worth an anxious thought heaven and hell seem to be realities,  but soon the world intervenes between God and my soul and I am left to pursue a phantom.
Yesterday I attended meeting heard a very good sermon hope I shall remember it, I wish you could go to meeting.  When I hear good conversation and preaching I want you should hear it too.  Today I went to my uncle Joel Spaulding’s returned about dark and went to the Conference.  How differently has this evening been spent from the evening after Thanksgiving last year.  I was then at Mr. Clements’s.  I presume Hannah C and H. Hart it well remember we spent it very foolishly in playing and dancing.  I hope you enjoy your health better than you have done, and your mind too.  I hope you will make me a visit before long I want to see you very much.  Pardon my neglect in not writing before be assured it has not been through neglectfulness nor want of inclination.  I will tell you more about it when I see you, I should like to write longer but you see my paper will not hold out. Write every opportunity your Letters are very acceptable, I hope you will not expose any [?]
Your Sincere Friend

Letter from “Polly S.” to “Miss Sally Bouttell, Townsend”

March 8, 1825
After so long a silence I hardly know whether I ought to write at all.  But as unworthy as I am of your correspondence or friendship yet I still wish to preserve them.  But though my not writing before may have the appearance of neglect, yet I think if you knew how my time has been [taken?] up you would forgive me.  I have begun to write more than once and have not had time to finish.  Perhaps you would like to know how my time has been employed.  Not very profitably I assure you.  The first two weeks then after I received your letter I was almost sick with a cold, and a lame arm, which prevented my doing but little of anything.  Since then I have been at school almost every day, and of course had but little time to write except the evening and in cold whether among so many by one fire it is very inconvenient to write.  I went to a party at Captain Turner’s three or four weeks ago.  There was between twenty and thirty young people nearly of my age.  The evening was spent chiefly in playing and although I joined in the play with my gay companions I am far from approving our conduct.  No I will not attempt to excuse what I know to be wrong, nor will I knowingly be the advocate of sin, how much soever I may be the subject of it.  To me my own fireside with a book or a friend would have been far more agreeable than such childish amusements; gladly would I have exchanged my seat then for one by your side.
I went to Mr. [Hubbard’s?] school three days the week before last – I think he is a very good master.  I think he has been unjustly blamed for his conduct respecting Lucy W. and Thersa P.  I should consider it a great privilege to attend such a school as his; he prays night and morning in his school.  I like his praying very much, they are short but very comprehensive; I think he is a very pious young man and anxious for the welfare of his scholars.  A [neat?] difference between him and our master who seems to care but little whether his scholars study or play, and as to religion he appears to scorn the very idea.
How quickly another winter has fled and gone beyond [really?]  The lovely spring approaches and soon it will appear in all its beauty. May it be a delightful one to us. May our life, health and sense be open to us, to enjoy it.  And while we admire the beauties of nature may we be led to adore the author.
How often have I wished for a friend before I met with you, but I find there [is?] but few among my acquaintance who are real friends.  But if I have one friend, I shall think myself happy.  I trust I have commenced a friendship with you which I hope will last as long as we exist.  No I never shall forget you.  Let others do as they will; were I in any way worthy of such a friend as you I should be [far?] better than I am at present.
I think by this time you must be tired of reading such scrawls as mine – Forgive what [ ] wrong and if I have written anything which deserves an answer I [sh****] [**pect] one soon.
This [ ] [**ur] much obliged but unworthy friend
Polly S.
[on back:] I thought I should have seen you before this time.  I hope you will come and see me soon.

Letter from “P. B.” to “Miss Ruth Spaulding, Lexington Mass.”

Townsend Apr. 4  [no year given, but likely 1835 since she refers to her mother finding the dress unacceptable, the same as her mother does in the next letter, which is dated 4 April 1835]
I was quite surprised to hear after I had been gone from home a fortnight that you had started the same day that I did.  I was almost sick with a cold all the time I was gone, I think I never had a worse one.  I stayed at Father’s 10 days at uncle S’ 4 days & nearly a fortnight at Lucy’s.  Edward is at his GrandFather’s now.  I expect to move before a great while.   John wants to fix the chamber first.  I expect to go to Mr. K. Bloods to work a while this month if I am able.  I suppose I shall not be able to write much news beside what mother has written.  Things go on here very much as usual.  N. is as uneasy as ever &c &c.  We want you to write again soon and let us know how you get along.  You need not take pattern by us we have spoken about writing very often but that was not writing I know.  We thought at last we would wait for your gown but it is done so poorly that mother concludes not to send it.
Yours in haste  P.B.
May the best of Season’s blessings
Rest upon you from above

Letter from “Lucy Spaulding.” to “Miss Ruth Spaulding, Lexington”

Townsend, April th 4  1835
I received your letter on the day it was mailed and have delayed writeing on account of your gown thinking to send a letter and that together, but am disappoint now.  We have not got it til yesterday and it does not look very well and I think it had better be coulord black so I think I will not send it but let it be til you come home.  I think you had better buy you a good dark calicoe one.  My health is pretty much the same as it was when you left.  Daniel is at home he has had the mumps but is better and talks of going to Lowell next week.  We have heard from Isaac he has sold out and is coming down in the fall. The wrest of the folks are well.  Polly is at home now but expects to move to John’s before long.  If you come home the last of May as you wrote I think it probable I shall want you the wrest of the summer.  I have hired Miles and John Conant.  If you are not well enough to stay come home any time.  Nancy wants you to come home and fetch her something.  Your grandmother remains pretty much the same.  Nancy Warner has got better and is with her now.  Mary has gone to Lowell.  Mr. Rogers is a going to leave us in September.  I don’t know as I have any more news to write in partikular.  You must be a good girl and put your trust in him who has said he is a farther to the fartherless and the widow’s God, and may he ever direct your steps in paths of virtue and religion is the wish of your affectionate mother
Lucy Spaulding
[faint scrawl on back:]  Mother’s

Next Steps

There are additional photos and documents in the archive that I will explore.  These letters will go a long way to help me start exploring the Spauldings.  By the time of the 1835 letters, above, Polly was a widow, and the “Edward” she named was my mother’s great grandfather, Edward Baldwin.  She died in 1839.  I intend to follow up on each person and fact mentioned.

I never expected to see a letter from either Polly or Lucy.  The letters from the teenaged Polly show a sensitive girl trying to figure out her world.  I love the image of the large family gathered around one fireplace, and I love the chatter about the new dress not being right.  I sounds just like a conversation I would have with my daughters today.

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I visited Townsend, the home of the Baldwins, Spauldings, Emerys and Gassets for the first time last week.

Since most of my mother’s ancestors lived within about 50 miles of Rhode Island, I will have an opportunity to visit each place they lived in many times.  This visit was just to familiarize myself with the town and visit the historical society and cemeteries.

It’s a Small Town

My first stop was a roadside antiques consignment shop on the way into town.  There I met a woman who was related to Richard N. Smith (said she was his cousin, but as genealogists know, that could mean anything), the author of the 1978 history of Townsend called “Divinity and Dust – A History of Townsend, Massachusetts.”  I told her if she got a chance to let him know how much I enjoyed the book.

While driving around, I had the wonderful experience of spotting streets named for many of my ancestors:  Spaulding Street, Emery Road, Jefts Street, Blood Road.

Townsend Historical Society

Townsend Historical Society located on Main Street in the Townsend Harbor section.

I next approached the Townsend Historical Society.  I didn’t have an appointment but was greeted cheerfully and shown into an office where I discussed what I was researching.  I was able to photograph some membership roles of the Congregational Church from 1847 and 1851.  My direct ancestors were out of Townsend by that time, but some aunts, uncles and cousins remained.  I recognized many of them in the lists.  I was asked not to reproduce those photographs here.

The Historical Society had some files, ephemera and other records but nothing that seemed to fit well with the family names and times I mentioned. But I was able to inquire about old Townsend newspapers and the nearest city newspapers.  I purchased a few small items which complete my set of written works on Townsend history (see bibliography below.) I purchased a black and white reproduction of this 1856 Townsend map.  I was invited to send in any queries that I might have in the future, and perhaps I will, since I have only just started with this group.

Hillside Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery

Next I visited Hillside Cemetery.  This cemetery is very big but for some reason I drove right up to the memorial I was looking for.  It carries the names of many of the siblings of my ggg-grandmother, Polly (Spaulding) Baldwin, 1806-1839.  It is a memorial to Miles Spaulding (1819-1896), who was a physician in nearby Groton, and is buried in Groton. It was placed by his widow; they had no children.  I wonder if this turn of the century marker replaced some older ones?  The earliest death on this memorial is 1834.

Capt. Isaac Spaulding, 1779-1834, Lucy Emery His Wife, 1788-1862, Ruth Spaulding, 1816-1899, Harriet N. Spaulding, 1822-1907, MILES SPAULDING

I never found the graves of my grandfather’s great grandparents, Eli and Polly (Spaulding) Baldwin.  But I knew the cemetery was recorded, section by section, in the Vital Records of Townsend Massachusetts book which I had on order, so I knew I could return with that another time and find everything.  My grandfather’s grandfather, Edward Baldwin, and his sister Catherine were left orphans when Eli and Polly died.  Polly’s siblings, particularly those mentioned on the marker above, did a lot for Catherine and Edward.  So I was touched to see that Catherine (Baldwin) Hunt (1834-1904) was buried in the same plot.  She and her husband, William Hunt, did not have any children.  I suspect Edward Baldwin died alone, and is not buried here.  But there is a lot still to learn about him.

Old Burying Ground

Old Burying Ground, Earliest Known Burial – 1735

My last stop was the Old Burying Ground on Highland Street.  A more manageable size than Hillside, I examined every marker, and also referred to a list I had brought.  Even with that, I will need to refer to the Vital Records list and make a trip back.  Meanwhile, here is what I found.

Old Burying Ground, Townsend

My ggggg-grandfather John Emery (1754-1828):

In memory of Mr. John Emery, who died March 13, 1828 in the 75th year of his age

John’s father, my gggggg-grandfather Zachariah Emery, 1716-1804

In memory of Mr. Zachariah Emery who died 3 May 1804 aged 87 years.

My gggggg-grandfather Deacon Isaac Spaulding, 1710-1776

In memory of Dea. Isaac Spaulding who departed this life March 4, 1776 in the 66 year of his age. “Beneath this stone death’s prisoner lies, The stone shall move the prisoner rise; When Jesus with almighty word, Calls the dead saints to meet the Lord.”

My gggggg-grandmother, Sarah (Barrett) Spaulding (1714-1806), wife of Deacon Isaac:

In memory of Mrs. Sarah Spaulding widow of Dea. Isaac Spaulding who died 11 Feb 1806. In the 92 year of her age.

My ggggg-grandfather Lieut. Benjamin Spaulding, 1743-1832

In memory of Lieut. Benjamin Spaulding who died May 27, 1832. Aged 89.

My ggggg-grandfather Reuben Gassett, 1754-1822:

Erected in Memory of Reuben Gassett who died Dec. 18, 1822 AEt. 69. “Come! said Jesus’ sacred voice, Come, and make my paths your choice, I will guide you to your home, Worthy Pilgrim, heither come!”

Next Steps

  • Go through the cemeteries again with a better list in hand
  • Send some questions to the Historical Society
  • Explore newspaper resources
  • Locate several ancestral homes through the various books and maps available
  • Find military records for more of these ancestors

A Bibliography of Townsend Resources:

  • Hallowell, Henry C., (“transcribed and edited by”).  Vital Records of Townsend, Massachusetts, Town Records to 1850 with Marriage Intentions to 1873 and Cemetery Inscriptions.  Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1992.
  • The History of the Churches of Townsend, Mass.  Townsend: Townsend Historical Society, 1973. (44 pages)
  • Sawtelle, Ithamar B. History of the Town of Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, from the Grant of Hathorn’s Farm, 1676-1878.  Fitchburg, Mass.: Published by the Author, Press of Blanchard & Brown, 1878.
  • Smith, Richard N. Divinity and Dust, A History of Townsend, Massachusetts.  Lancaster, Mass: Richard N. Smith and the Townsend Historical Society, Printed at the College Press, 1978.
  • Town of Townsend, Incorporated June 29, 1732, 250th Anniversary.  Townsend Historical Society, 1982. (88 pages, mostly pictures)
  • Wornham, William.  The Last Muster: A Survey of the Civil War Veterans Buried in Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  Second Ed., 1998. (36 pages)

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