52 Ancestors Week #36 – Acadian Road Trip!

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


This past week, my husband and I took a road trip to our ancestral home of New Brunswick.  The visit was a compromise.  I hoped to research our ancestors, see their homeland, hit a few museums and sample Acadian food while he desired a more active vacation of hiking and biking. The weather was perfect!  We visited Saint John, Moncton, Ste. Marie, Bouctouche, Richibucto, Rexton, Scodouc, Shediac, Cap-Pele, and the Bay of Fundy, where we spent the night in Alma. A mix of genealogy, sightseeing and biking/hiking.  We visited the Acadian Museum in Moncton, the Loyalist Museum in Saint John, several cemeteries, the Hopewell Rocks at low tide, rode bikes to the Bouctouche Dunes/Irving Park and tasted local wines and cheeses in Richibucto.


A treat, was our two nights (at a reasonable C$ 99/night) in the first priest’s residence of Bouctouche (which has been converted to a country inn called Auberge le Vieux Presbytere).  A beautiful spot, overlooking the cemetery where many of my ancestors are buried and likely the same ocean views at the time when they attended church services. The church has since been relocated. In 1886 lightning struck the church and burned it to the ground. It was rebuilt only to be destroyed again this time by fire on December 18, 1921. This picture was taken just about 1905/6 before the fire. The inn can be seen on the far right of the picture and the convent school on the far left.  After this second loss the parish had a difficult decision to make. The convent, church, priest’s residence and the cemetery had been the center of the village life, even though the village was located some 2 kilometers away. Family members were all there in the cemetery and many didn’t want to “abandon” them. Others argued that the spot was subject to very severe climate and attending services was becoming more difficult. Finally the parishioners made the difficult decision to rebuild the church and priest’s residence in a calmer spot in the village.

bouctouche church2

The highlight of MY trip was meeting “THE” Stephen A. White at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes [Center for Acadian Studies], the OZ of Acadian Genealogy.

2014-09-09 15.44.01

photos 2

The center is AMAZING and I barely touched the surface.

Stephen has transcribed Acadian marriages on to index cards and alphabetized by surname. There is one for each party of the marriage. Using the cards, you can easily locate the marriage in parish registers.  No more issues with bad indexing or unindexed records. It essentially makes no sense to spend hours on Ancestry.com, searching through 29,000 LeBlanc records when you can visit Moncton and in a few days piece everything together (likely more accurately). I am recruiting Acadian genealogy friends interested in spending several days there!

Just a few interesting tidbits…..




After locating the card for my ancestors, Joseph Roi and Henriette Leger, I mentioned to Stephen that I struggled with determining consanguinity “…Joseph Roi and Henrietta Legere after having granted dispensation from 3 to 3 and 4 to the 4th degree of consanguinity…” (related blog post: http://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/52-ancestors-week-28-using-consanguinity-to-prove-parentage-in-the-roy-family/).

I spent hours at home, my brain about to explode, attempting to determine the “cousin connections” between the couple.  I finally got the “3 to 3″, but was unable to calculate the “4 to 4″.

Roy Leger

Stephen pulled a few binders, sat at a table, and within five minutes presented the following:


Simple.  Just list the names of the couple’s parents, grandparents, g-grandparents, etc. and the matches should be evident.  Why hadn’t I thought of that!

(2) Paul Forest’s Ancestry – NEW INFORMATION UNCOVERED!

One of my direct maternal ancestors (my 5th g-grandmother) is Apolline/Polonie Forest, daughter of Paul Forest.  Stephen White has recently uncovered new information regarding Paul Forest’s ancestry.  Previously, in Stephen’s Dictionnaire, it was recorded that Paul’s parents were Charles Forest and Marie Chiasson.  This is likely inaccurate.  Paul, born about 1746, is thought to be the son of Charles Forest  and his second wife Marie-Josephe Poirier.

Charles, son of Rene and Francoise Dugas, did first marry Marie Chiasson, she died and he married second, about 1746, Marie-Josephe Poirier, daughter of Jacques Poirier and Anne Cormier.  Marie-Josephe Poirier, was the widow of Francois Hebert son of Pierre and Marie-Josephe Blou, who she married about 1740.

My Original Tree

Forest error

Stephen’s notes in French, explaining his theory

Hebert correction

Charles Forest and his second wife Marie-Josephe Poirier (m. ca.1746):

Explanatory note from S. A. White: The godparents of Jean-Baptiste Hébert, son of François Hébert and Marie-Josèphe Poirier, were Jean Cormier and Anne Cormier (Parish register of Beaubassin, 21 May 1741). These were the child’s uncle by marriage on his father’s side and his grandmother on his mother’s side. This latter relationship has been confirmed by the results of a mitochondrial DNA test for one of Marie-Josèphe Poirier’s maternal-line descendants which indicate that Marie-Josèphe inherited from her own maternal side the genetic signature of Geneviève Lefranc (haplotype W). Now, Anne Cormier was a daughter of Marguerite LeBlanc, whose mother Catherine Hébert was Geneviève Lefranc’s daughter (see S. A. White, “L’ADN des mères d’Acadie,” Centre d’études acadiennes, Genealogical collections, Miscellaneous). The last source mentioned parenthetically is a file that contains all of the maternal lineages and mtDNA test results I have collected since 2006, plus a few associated materials. A lot of this material is not available on your website. (Reference is to my web site at acadian ancestral home. Lucie LeBlanc Consentino).
Here is a translation of Paul Delaney’s note:
Explanatory note from Paul Delaney: Marie Hébert was the daughter of François Hébert and Marie-Josèphe Poirier. The dispensations for the third degree of consanguinity granted upon the marriage of Casimir Bourg, grandson of Ursule Forest (daughter of Charles Forest and his wife “Mary”), to Marie Bourg, granddaughter of Marie Hébert (Parish register of Barachois, 22 Nov. 1830) and upon that of Dominique Bourg, grandson of Marie Hébert, to the above Casimir’s sister Marguerite Bourg (Parish register of Cap-Pelé, 10 Sept. 1832), show that Marie Hébert must have been either a half- sister of Ursule Forest or of Marguerite Haché. The absence of any dispensations in the records when Moïse Bourg, another of Marie Hébert’s grandsons, married Marcelline Bonnevie (Parish register of Barachois, 15 Sept. 1828) and when François Léger, yet another of Marie Hébert’s grandsons, married Marguerite Bonnevie (Parish register of Grande- Digue, 14 July 1817) meanwhile eliminates the possibility that such a relationship might have existed between Marie Hébert and Marguerite Haché (the grandmother of the Bonnevies). The dispensation for the second to the third degree of consanguinity granted to Louis Léger, another of Marie Hébert’s grandsons, when he married Ursule Forest’s brother Paul Forest’s daughter Marguerite (Parish register of Cap-Pelé, 30 Oct. 1820), then gives us the proof that Marie Hébert and all the children of Charles Forest and “Mary” had the same mother, because Paul was the eldest of those children and Ursule the youngest. Consequently, the wife of Charles Forest who is called simply “Mary” in the civil register of Franklin Manor was the same Marie-Josèphe Poirier who had first married François Hébert about 1740.

Thanks to Suzanne & Liz & Marcelle on the Acadian Facebook page for the translation!

My Revised Tree

Forest revised


My mother’s maternal grandfather was Paul/Pius Roy born 9 Jul 1886 in Ste Marie de Kent, New Brunswick; died 9 Aug 1954 in Athol, Worcester, Massachusetts. A number of records (in my personal files) identify his parents as Docité/Dosithée Roy and Victoire (LeBlanc) Roy. 

pius obituary

A marriage of 11 May 1885 in Ste Marie, lists Victoire’s parents as Georges LeBlanc and Madeleine LeBlanc.

roy leblanc marriage

1885 marriage

Church records in Bouctouche record a child born to Georges LeBlanc and Madeleine LeBlanc as Victoire’s, baptized 1 May 1865

baptism victorie

This matches up with an immigration record dated 9 Dec 1922, where Victoire claims to be age 57 (she is traveling to her son Edmund’s home 244 Parker Street, Gardner, MA – staying less than 6 months – husband “Docity” of 70 Pearl Street, Moncton, NB paid her passage – she is 5’6″, med complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, 140).  She lists a birthplace of “St Mary’s”.  Residents of that area were baptized, married and buried in Bouctouche parish until the arrival of Ste-Marie’s (Mont-Carmel’s) first resident pastor in 1870.


Stephen took a look at my tree and immediately pointed out  a potential “mix up” with the LeBlancs.

I was correct that Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet and Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache were likely Victoire’s grandparents.  The confusion being the identity of maternal pair versus the paternal.

- Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet had a son name Georges and a daughter named Madeleine.

- Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache had a son name Georges and a daughter named Madeleine.

One child from each family married the other – Georges to Madeleine and Georges to Madeleine!  Stephen pulled another binder and noted that I indeed had things reversed!

My g-g-grandmother Victorie LeBlanc descends from Georges of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache and Madeleine of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet. Lots of trees out there in cyberspace with the same error!!

victoire tree2

Stephen’s analysis:



page 2 Joseph

My Direct Ancestors

Baptism of Georges, of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache, 9 February 1844 in Bouctouche.

my Georges birth

Baptism of Madeleine, of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet, 21 Jan 1844 in Bouctouche.

my madeleine

Marriage of Georges of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache and Madeleine of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet in Bouctouche on 2 May 1864. They were both about 20 years of age.

george and marie bouctouche

My Cousins (but not Direct Ancestors)

Baptism of Georges, of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet, on 15 March 1838, in Bouctouche

other George

Baptism of Madeleine, of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache, on 20 April 1839, in Bouctouche.

other madeleine

Marriage of Georges of Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet and Madeleine of Sifroi LeBlanc & Victoire Bastarache, in Richibucto, 31 January 1860.

other leblanc marriage

Georges and Madeline White (LeBlanc) in the 1861 census, both age 23, Wellington, Kent, New Brunswick with two children – Margarett (1) and Geneviève (3 months).

1861 census

You are noticing that neither marriage record from the Drouin indexes specifically names either set of Georges and Madeleine’s parents.  Stephen White has been working these families for decades!  He has been able to determine the likelihood of who was married to whom and born to whom because he has studied the entire population.  There are likely additional analyses and records to which I do not have access or that I have not reviewed (like all of the birth/marriage/death records of each of their children).  Yet another reason to return to Moncton!  I feel confident that my tree is now likely correct as my LeBlanc family was indeed in Kent in the Ste Marie/Bouctouche area and Madeleine’s second marriage and death certificate does record the names of her parents (see below).

Additional Data/My Direct Ancestors

Given that Victoire, was born in 1865 and is found to be the eldest child in census data, it is likely that her parents were the Georges and Madeleine born in 1844, married in 1864. Other known children of Georges and Madeleine likely include Henriette, Matilde, Vitaline, Eugenie, Zelie, Nerie, Marguerite, Adelard, Sara and Annie. I have not searched for further records as it would be simpler (hopefully soon) to return to Moncton and utilize Stephen’s research to trace them forward.

The 1851 census for Kent County, New Brunswick did not survive.

1861 Wellington parish: Georges White (LeBlanc), age 16, and mother Victoire living with his step-father Julian LeBlanc & half-siblings and next door (or nearby) to his future wife Madeleine White (LeBlanc), age 18 who resides with her parents Joseph & Marguerite and siblings Daniel and Oliver.

1861 census madeline2

1871 Wellington parish: George, 27 (farmer, b. 1844); Madeleine, 27 (b. 1844); Victoire, 6 (b. 1865); Henriette, 4; Matilde, 2; Vitaline 2 months

1871 leblanc

1881 St Mary’s parish: George, 38; Madeleine, 38; Victoire, 15; Henriette, 13; Matilde, 11; Eugenie 8; Milie Zeliah (Zelie) 6, Nerie,1; Marguerite, 1 month 

1881 census george

Georges died and was buried 14 Feb 1891 in Ste Marie, he was 47. I did not locate his grave during my visit or at http://www.acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/frames.html

Georges death.

1891 St Mary’s parish:  Madeleine, 47 (widow); Eugenie 18; Zelia 16, Niry (Nerie), 11; Marguerite, 9; Dolore (Adelard), 8; Sara, 6; Anne, 4; ___ Roy, 2.

madeleine 1891

Victoire’s young family lived nearby in Ste Marie (further information on this family is included in my Roy blog post – http://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/52-ancestors-week-28-using-consanguinity-to-prove-parentage-in-the-roy-family/).

1881 census victoria

Madeleine married second, Marc LeBlanc son of Joachim and Prudentienne Maillet, widower of Cécile Bastarache  on 22 May 1893. The church record lists her as widow of Georges LeBlanc.

marriage 2

The civil record names her parents as Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet


On 18 Nov 1895, daughter Zelie married David Caissy at Mont-Carmel in Ste Marie.

Zelie marriage

1901 St Mary’s parish:  Marc, 49; Madeleine, 58; Niri,21; Adelard, 17; Sara, 16; Annie, 14; also Pierre LeBlanc, 26 & Joseph Caissie 36.
1901 census2

On 3 Feb 1902, her son Nerie married Marguerite LeBlanc.

Neri marriage

Madeleine and Marc are listed in Charlotte County, New Brunswick in Familysearch 1911 census indexes.  The record is likely mis-indexed on Ancestry.com as it could not be located.  The Adelard residing with her is indeed her son with George, as documented in his marriage record to Emma Gaudet.

1911 census

Adelard LeBlanc‘s marriage to Emma Gaudet, Richibucto:

Adilard marriage

Madeleine’s husband Marc died, 8 June 1919, age 66 in Ste Marie of heart and kidney trouble.

Marc death

Madeleine was not located in the 1921 census.

Madeleine died 4 May 1935, age 92, 4 months in St Damien. Her son Neri reported her death. Joseph LeBlanc & Marguerite Collet are named as her parents. She was buried in Mt Carmel cemetery in Ste Marie (her stone has not been located).


OVERALL – A great trip and experience!  I hope to return soon!

52 Ancestors Week #35 – The Haines Girls were Poets and I Didn’t Even Know It!

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


My Nana and her sisters frequently wrote poems to one another on birthdays and special occasions.  Today I share one written by Nana’s sister, Bernice, of her mother (my g-grandmother), Edith Bernice “Ede” (Lansil) Haines:


For Mother’s Birthday

Nearly sixty years ago,
He stood there with his bride,
He was that sweet girls handsome beau,
His chest was filled with pride.

Her eyes were blue, his twinkled brown,
They made their vows for life,
Then kept those vows for all the years,
Did John and Ede, his wife.

The children came, all eight of them,
Three boys, five girls were born,
They grew and loved, were snug and safe,
And welcomed every morn.

First Edith with her cherry ways,
Their firstborn, small and coy,
She thrived, untouched by “flapper” days,
And filled their hearts with joy.

Her days have passed so fruitfully,
They’ve beautified her face,
Grandchildren now upon her knee,
How did she stand the pace?

Jack grew to be so tall and fine,
Don Juan and bon vivant,
He’s traveled o’er this big wide world,
The sea his happy haunt.

Does he think about those days
He and Edith danced together,
The “flivver” with the “cranky” ways,
Baby Nat, light as a feather.

Next Walter came to stay a while,
He couldn’t tarry long,
His baby ways, his happy smile,
So brief was his life’s song.

Yes, John and Ede knew sadness,
The baby’s coat was white as snow,
A trolley ride ended gladness,
Leaving emptiness we’ll never know.

Doris was the next to come,
So thoughtful, so serene.
In yellow ruffled evening gown,
She danced just like a queen.

She’s smart, ambitious, she’s our prize.
In her class she’ll be first,
Compassion smiles in her blue eyes,
Soon she will be a nurse.

And then the dimpled daughter came,
Called Marion Jeanette.
So effervescent and so gay,
She was her family pet.

She flew a plane up in the clouds,
She skied down snowy slopes.
Today out west she can be proud,
She lived up to all hopes.

Bill came along, Mom’s special son.
He brought her all his love.
When came the day she needed him
He joined her up above.

Always there when needed,
Ready with his helping hand.
He even went to fight the war,
Upon old England’s land.

While he was there he gave his all
To each of us each day,
He gave us fun and “had a ball”,
Too soon he went away.

Next came the girl with golden hair,
To this happy group she came,
They gave her warmth, they gave her hope,
She’s called Bernice by name.

Thanks for the memories of days gone by,
Times of happiness and joy,
They’ll like the way she raised her brood,
Of three girls and four boys.

Then Ede and John they took a rest.
A fine family was theirs,
To love and raise and give the best,
And protect from all life’s cares.

But Natalie was bound to find,
A way to be our girl.
She came and blessed our happy home.
She became our precious pearl.

A writer and a poetess,
Joanne and Ed she gave.
Down on Cape Cod she settled,
A pioneer so brave.

Our names may change to Hall or White,
Or something else it seems,
Like Thomson perhaps Richards,
Yet “Haines” will haunt our dreams.

We hope Ede and John are proud of us
On their perch among the stars,
That they love us still away out there,
On Jupiter or Mars.

It’s nineteen hundred sixty-five,
Our childhood years have past.
Swan boats, root beer, happy rides,
From which the dye was cast.

They did us proud did Ede and John,
They gave us zest for life,
Through smiles and tears and joy and pain,
Through happy times and strife.

We’re scattered far and traveled wide,
We’ve lived and quelled our fears.
Today we look back with pride,
Upon those passing years.

“We pass this way but once” she said,
So let’s look on ahead,
Our heads held high, our stops serene,
We’ll follow where she led.

P.S.  Thought talent seems to be my lack,
I just had to get in the act.
“Poetic license” isn’t here,
I meant each word; I hope that’s clear.

group sheet

52 Ancestors Week #34 – Another Lansil Artist

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


George Lansil, was born 28 Jan 1839 in Bangor, Penobscot, Maine, to Captain James P. Lansil and Martha Colby and thus a grandchild of my 4th g-grandparents Charles V. Lansil and Ruth Paine and my first cousin 4 x removed. He attended the Hammond Street Congregation Church Sabbath School.

sunday school


In 1860, George and a younger brother were residing at a boarding house and he was employed as a Molder.

He went off to serve in the Civil War, and received a pension; his discharge papers were in 2008 auctioned on Ebay, the description reads:


pension increase

By the late 1800’s, George Lansil was described as a “painstaking, thorough artist” and one of Bangor’s finest photographers (he is credited with assisting Mathew Brady, the well known Civil War photographer during the War – see his work HERE). He became established as a photographer in the early 1860’s. By the mid 1880’s, he was located in his Main Street studio, and had 5 assistants. His studio occupied three floors and was comprised of eight rooms.

Langdon’s List of 19th & Early 20th Century Photographers


Lansil, George L., photographer, 3 Bowman’s Block, brds Bangor House, Bangor, ME (1882)


Lansil, George, photographer, 3 Bowman’s Block, brds Franklin House, Bangor ME (1871-1872); photographer, 3 Bowman’s Block, brds Penobscot Exchange, Bangor, ME (1873); photographer, 3 Bowman’s Block, brds J. W. Abbott’s, May, Bangor, ME (1875); photographer, 3 Bowman Block, brds Bangor House, Bangor, ME (1879-1880). 

In 1871 he had joined C. L. Marston.

1871 picture

By 1880 our bachelor is residing at the Bangor House on Main Street.

In 1883 he formed a partnership with Charles R. Gould who declared him to be “the finest photographer and most finished artist this side of Boston”.

1883 lansil partner

George likely married Ella Severance, 27 Mar 1884, widow of Edward E. Small, daughter of Samuel and Betsey (Thompson) Severence.

On 19 Mar 1885 his wife gave birth to their only known child who survived to adulthood, Martha Louise “Mattie” Lansil (the 1900 & 1910 censuses claims Ella has given birth to three, one living).

In 1900-1, he advertised in the University of Maine at Orono’s yearbook.

george adgeorge ad2

A cousin writes “I remember grandmother Mattie Lansil Richardson very well. She spent her last years living with her daughter Helen and her son-in-law Gordon Danforth in Orrington ME. She told wonderful stories of old Bangor. She had one half sister, Lilly who died of diphtheria I think, when she was a little girl. Ella Severance was the love of George’s life as the story goes. She married Small and broke his heart. Small was wounded in the war, returned home, but was never really well again. He died and George got the girl”.

George photographed his only daughter at many stages of her life.  One hundred years after her birth, in 1985, the GAR Museum featured this collection.


I recently visited and found the exhibit is no longer on display, but is stored in a back room not open to the public.  The curator was kind enough to allow me access to photograph the collection.

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The local newspaper, The Daily Whig and Courier offers small glimpses of their lives:

In 1887, the family spent the summer in Northport.


That same year, George secured a gold watch from the 99 cent store!

1887 George

In 1892, seven year old Mattie was awarded 25 cents for her crochet work.

Mattie crochet

Is 1893, George fell ill, and had someone temporarily take over his studio.  He recovered, and had planned to spend the summer at the Warren A. Bragg cottage in Islesboro, an island off the coast of Maine. They instead used Col. F. Pullen’s as the Bragg’s cottage had been damaged by fire.

Lansil sick

1893 vacation



In 1895, Mrs. George was in business as a Cook.


I am including the next article from 1896  because I find it humorous that they mention the weights of the six sisters who George photographed.

1896 picture

In 1900, George and Ella are residing in Bangor with their daughter and George’s father; by 1910 they were alone with two borders. A 69 year old George is listed as a photographer. The 1920 census places George (now listed as age 83) and Ella (age 76) in Bangor, neither are working but they have nine lodgers.

George’s daughter Martha married a Canadian, Endymion “John” Christopher Richardson on 11 Jun 1908, thus losing her US Citizenship. The pair initially resided in Bangor.  Endymion worked as a Clerk for the Railroad.  Martha gave birth to one child who had died by 1910.  By 1920,  they had a second child, Helen M., age 5.  In both censuses, Martha’s widowed mother-in-law is enumerated in the same household.  By 1930, she was no longer with them and the family of three had relocated to Hampden, Maine. In 1940, the couple owned a home in Bangor valued at $2,000. Their daughter by that time had married Gordon Danforth.

George died 14 Jul 1926; Ella on 6 Feb 1930; Endymion on 9 Jun 1961 and Martha on 22 Jan 1970; they are all buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor.

52 Ancestors Week #33 – The Battle of Bunker Hill

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


A few years ago, my husband and I purchased a second home in Charlestown, Massachusetts; a stone’s throw from the Bunker Hill Monument.

IMG_03202013-11-02 14.07.44


photo (30)

1830 bunker hill

This monument stands on the site of “The Battle of Bunker Hill”, actually called Breed’s Hill, the first major battle of the American Revolution, on June 17, 1775. resulting in about 400 American and 1,054 British casualties.  The town was burnt to the ground and the Charlestown Peninsula fell into British control. Despite losing their strategic positions, the battle was a significant morale-builder for the inexperienced Americans, convincing them that patriotism could overcome a more advanced British military.

account of Battle

On June 17, 1825, the fiftieth anniversary of this important battle, the cornerstone of the monument was laid by the Marquis de Lafayette and an address delivered by Daniel Webster. It was estimated that 100,000 – 150,000 spectators flocked to town, folks from all 24 states of the Union plus “many strangers”.  Survivors of the Battle, the Revolutionary Army and all officers of the Army, Navy and Militia were invited guests to a dinner; others could purchase tickets for $1.50 at Boston book stores. The dinner tent was 400 feet long and 100 feet wide with 12 tables running lengthwise.  In the center was a 100 by 50 foot platform for the invited guests and a gallery for the band.  Attached to the tent were three spacious kitchens and crockery/glassware store.  Mr. Smith was engaged to serve 4,000. One of the (unnamed) Battle survivors was expected to wear the same coat that he wore to Battle, which had no less than nine bullet holes!  The Toll Houses were closed that day and it was requested that navigators not apply for the draw to be open that day. Each survivor was offered three dollars plus one dollar for every twenty miles of travel to cover their costs.

“Every street was filled with passing multitude, moving in various directions; wherever the eye turned it encountered a dense mass of living bodies; and wherever listened the sound of martial music was heard. In short, we were wholly inundated with soldiers, musicians, citizens, carriages and horses.  

At about half passed 10 o’clock the procession moved from the common, escorted by 16 companies of Infantry and one of cavalry, belonging to this city and the adjoining towns.  The bells in this city and those in Charlestown, were kept tolling during the moving of the procession; and salutes were fired in the morning and during the day.”  

At the head of the procession, in eight carriages, were 40 survivors of the Bunker Hill Battle. Each wore on his breast a badge “Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775″; many having implements of war they used in the fight.  Newspaper accounts estimate that the procession exceeded 7,000 persons.

“The procession arrived in Charlestown at about half past twelve…the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts then proceeded to lay the corner stone…the address of the Hon. Daniel Webster is very highly spoken of.  The masterly eloquence of the speaker, when addressing Gen. Lafayette drew tears from every eye. The General, the veterans of the revolution, the speaker and indeed the whole assembly were effected most sensibly. While not a dry eye was to be seen, not a whisper was to be heard, all was still as night…”

The address lasted an hour and forty minutes which was followed by a number of toasts, then an excellent “collation” prepared by Mr. Smith.

Read more here: article


bunker hillbunker hil celebration

Turns out that my 5th g-grandfather, Moses Pindar (Pinder, Pendar, Pender, Pindir, Pyndar) fought in the battle and (although it is unknown if he attended) was an invited guest to the commemorative event!!!!

Moses Pindar chart

Moses fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill, as a private, in Captain Abraham Dodge’s Company, part of Colonial Moses Little’s regiment, after enlisting on 3 May 1775.   Other survivors invited from Ipswich included: Nathaniel Wade, Joseph Hodgkins, John Lukeman, Jabez Farley, John H. Boardman, Nathanial Farley, Abraham Perkins and Solomon Coleman.

moses more

Moses Pindar Revolution


Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors reads: Pinder, Moses, Ipswich. Private, Cat. Abraham Dodge’s co., Col. Moses Little’s (17th) regt.; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted May 3, 1775; service, 12 weeks 6 days; also, company return endorsed “October the 9 1775;” age, 25 yrs. t

There is one inconsistency, if this is my Moses, he would have been born in 1750 to be age 25 in 1775 – the Moses born to John Pinder and Katherine Kimball was born 10 years earlier in 1740/1741 and age 35 – I believe he was actually 35 and age 25 is an error, see my analysis under vital records.

moses book


Colonial Little’s 17th & 24th regiments were composed entirely of men from Essex County. Captain Abraham Dodge’s group had 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, 1 ensign, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, 2 fifers and 59 privates.

“At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Col. Little led three of his companies across Charlestown Neck, under severe fire from British batteries and ships of war, reached the scene of action before the first charge of the enemy, and was present throughout the entire engagement. His men were posted in different places – a part at the redoubt, and a part at the breastwork, and some at the rail fence. A fourth company came upon the field after the battle began”. One account claims forty of the regiment were killed or wounded.  In another list the statement was made that sever were killed and 23 wounded”.

Another account reads: “His company were camped within sight of the battle of Bunker Hill and a number of them went voluntarily into the fight…” Moses is listed among the names of those who fought”.

col little

moses battle



photo (31)


Ipswich Vital Records – Births and Marriages


Moses was likely born to John and Katherine (Kimball) Pinder and baptized 3 March 1740.

There is one inconsistency, if this is “our Moses”, and the company return [pictured above] which endorsed “October the 9 1775;” age, 25 yrs is correct,  he would have been born in 1750 to be age 25 in 1775 – this Moses born to John Pinder and Katherine Kimball was born 10 years earlier in 1740/1741 and thus age 35 at the time of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

I have found no evidence of a second Moses Pinder in the area, although multiple marriages are listed, there is only one likely birth and one likely death of a Moses, age 86, recorded in Massachusetts on 19 Oct 1827. The corresponding published death notice, which makes mention of Moses being “a soldier of the Revolution” and also lists his age as 86, which places his birth about 1741 and thus 34 or 35 years of age in 1775.

Moses birth


moses marriage


Massachusetts Vitals shows three records pertaining to Moses Pinder married in Essex county; I believe there only to be one man of that name in Essex in that time frame and all three likely pertain to him, he was likely married twice to (1) Elizabeth Safford and (2) Mary Procter or Kimball.

(1)   Moses Pindar  – bride’s name: Elizabeth Safford; marriage date: 04 Oct 1765; marriage place: Ipswich,Essex,Massachusetts – https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FCCS-T9H

(2)   Moses Pinder – bride’s name: Mary Procter; marriage date: 08 Sep 1778;  marriage place: Gloucester,Essex,Massachusetts – https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FCHH-FJV the Mary Procter marriage registered in Gloucester states that Mary was now from Ipswich: Moses, and Mary Procter [formerly of this town, now of Ipswich, C. R. 1.], Sept. 8, 1778.

(3)   Moses Pinder – bride’s name: Mary Kimball; marriage date: 19 Sep 1778  marriage place: Ipswich,Essex,Massachusetts – https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FCCS-TM5

Maybe Mary Kimball and Mary Proctor are the same person?  Perhaps Mary was married previously and one town recorded her maiden name and the other the name she used during her first marriage – since they are 11 days apart? Mary was said to be 77 when she died in 1826, thus placing her birth about 1749 and about age 29 when she married, certainly old enough to have had a prior marriage.



Known children born to Moses in Ipswich include:

(1) Mary Pinder daughter of Moses and Elizabeth, b. 28 May 1769 (Ipswich vital records)

(2) Moses Pinder son of Moses b. 30 Dec 1770 (Ipswich vital records)

(3) Joseph Pinder son of Moses b:Aug 29, 1779 (Ipswich vital records) – no further records found, probably died young

(4) John Pindar son of Moses b: 21 Jul 1782 (Ipswich vital records) – died 1783

(5) Polly Pindar daughter of Moses b: 10 Oct 1784 (Ipswich vital records) – died 1787

(6) David son of Moses, baptized 16 Sep 1787  (Ipswich vital records) married Elizabeth Jones and died at sea 1815

(7) George Washington Pinder Son of Moses and Mary Pinder b:7 Feb 1793 (Ipswich vital records) – married Priscilla Allen in 1822


There is only one death of a Moses Pindar in Essex, – Moses, Oct. 19, 1827, a. 86 yr.; Mary’s death does not offer her maiden name: Mary, w. Moses, Mar. 2, 1826, a. 77 y.

Mary Pindar Death

Moses Pindar Death

Probate records in Essex County were not located for any man named Moses Pinder.


On 30 November 1785, Moses’ father John, yeoman, died in Ipswich, intestate.

Ten days later, on 10 December 1785, Moses’ mother Katherine died in Ipswich.  She left a will in which she names her heirs as …”my children Moses Pinder, Simon Pinder, Katherine Fuller [husband Daniel], Hannah Stacy [husband Daniel] and my granddaughter Sarah daughter of my son John, deceased…..my son Benjamin Pinder and my daughter Lucy Henderson [husband Thomas]….”.  She left Moses six shillings.

Katherin Pinder probate



The censuses taken in Moses’ lifetime do not offer clues to his occupation.  There is one mention in town records “1771, March 18th. The Commoners gave £10 to Anthony Loney and Moses Pindar, because their fulling-mill had been borne away by a freshet”, but it is unknown if he ran/worked at a fulling-mill for his entire life:


10 fresh

* “Fulling is the finishing of wool cloth, basically shrinking it into its final form.” “A fulling mill is used to shrink and thicken woolen cloth.”

The history of the beginning of the Cloth Industry in America by Bob Bamford, of Essex Books claims: “With the advent of the fulling mill in Rowley, Massachusetts by John Pearson, in 1644, came the manufacture of cloth on a scale never before attempted in America. Previous to John’s coming, cloth making was a rather crude industry. Practically all of it was homespun, and while the women did the best they knew, the results were, naturally, quite far from satisfactory. The fulling mill changed all this. The cloth was still spun at home, but the finishing or fulling was done at the mill, and consequently a much better material resulted. In time this lessened the importation of cloth from England, making it just one of the many contributing causes of the Revolution of a century and a half later”.

* A freshet is a flood resulting from heavy rain or a spring thaw. Whereas heavy rain often causes a flash flood, a spring thaw event is generally a more incremental process, depending upon local climate and topography. The term freshet is most commonly used to describe a spring thaw resulting from snow and ice melt in rivers.

Censuses and Tax Records

1790 census

In 1790 Moses was residing in Ipswich with one male under age 16 and two females near (or with) his sister Hannah and her husband Edward Stacey.

1790 Census

 1898 tax records

Tax records indicate that in 1898, Moses owned land in Ipswich, perhaps jointly with Edward Stacey [his brother-in-law, husband of his sister Hannah].  The property had one dwelling house and an outhouse.  The lot was equal to 10 perches (about 1/16 acre) and valued at $150.

1898 pindar land


1800 census household: 1 male <5, 1 male  >40, 1 female 5-10, 1 female >40

1800 Moses

1810 census household: 1 male 17-26, 1 male >45, 1 female 17-26, 1 female >45

1810 moses census


1820 Census - unreadable

Moses 1820

Bunker Hill Day, is now observed every June 17, and a legal holiday in Suffolk County, Massachusetts.  A day with special meaning, as I have now discovered two ancestors who fought in the battle (the second being William Grout, subject of a future post).  Is it a coincidence that I a own a home in almost the exact spot where my ancestors fought for our freedom?

bunker hill day

52 Ancestors Week #32 – Common Names and FAN Clubs

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


Elizabeth Jones tree

The curse of the common name.  My tree is chock full of them. One such ancestor is Elizabeth Jones, my 4th g-grandmother. Her likely father was a Jones and mother a Smith…. Can it get any worse?

In order to reconstruct her life and family, I am compiling her FAN (Friends, Associates and Neighbors) Club.  As Professional Genealogist, Elizabeth Shown Mills, points out, “Learning more about an ancestor’s FAN Club is a great way to discover new information about your direct ancestry, as these people are often listed together in deeds, wills, court cases, road orders, etc., and help you build a stronger case about relationships in your own family.” Also sometime called cluster or inferential genealogy.  There is a great FREE course narrated by Dr. Thomas Jones, on Family Search, if you are interested in learning more: https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/inferential-genealogy/251.

So….  This post may have a few interesting tidbits, but is primarily a collection of names needing further research. If your ancestors were of Ipswich, Massachusetts in the 1700 & 1800’s perhaps you know some of the folks.  If so, please drop me a note!

Married and Widowed

Elizabeth Jones married David Pinder (Pindar, Pendar, Pender, Pyndar), on 8 Dec 1810. Both were said to be of Ipswich, Massachusetts.  He was likely the son of Moses Pinder and Mary Kimball.

David Elizabeth marriage


David Pindar Baptized

David and Elizabeth had two known children:

(1) Elizabeth, born 18 June 1810 in Ipswich [notice the entry preceding Elizabeth’s birth, recording the 1806 birth of Mary to Amos Jones – a Jones! perhaps a relative?]

Elizabeth 2 birth

(2) Nabby, born 1 Sept 1812 in Ipswich [notice the entry preceding Nabby’s birth, recording the 1781 birth of Hannah to Thomas Jones – a Jones! perhaps a relative?]

Nabby birth

David, born about 1788, a native of Ipswich, was a seaman, described in 1806 as 5’11”, light hair, light complexion, blue eyes and a large scar on his left hand and bosom [Seaman’s Protection Certificate, 3 Jan 1806, declaration port Philadelphia]. Sadly, he died at sea, 19 Jan 1815, at the age of 27. Cause and location unknown

. david death

He died intestate [probate file #: 21991, File Date: 05 Sep 1815 Residence: Ipswich, Occupation: mariner]. Elizabeth is named as widow and gives bond with Amos Jones, Blacksmith [second time he is mentioned!] and Aaron Wallis, Trader, as sureties. The committee included Aaron Wallis, Daniel B. Lord and Jeremiah Kimball. Thomas Knowlton was listed and then his named crossed off. Witnesses included Charles Kimball and Nathaniel Lord.

. amos again

David page 2

The estate valued at $141.85, consisted of:

1 secretary $25 [desk]; one light stand $1; two card tables $2; 2 pine tables 50c; one low chest draws and pine chest 50c; 1 press bedstead, under bed and cord $4; two small bedstead $1; 1 feather bed, bolster and pillows $12; one flock bed and straw bed $1.25 [these are bed coverings, not actual beds]; 6 pair sheets $7; five pair pillow cases $1.60; 4 bed quilts $8.25; two coverlets and 1 blanket $1.40; Bed curtains and window curtains 50c; 6 table cloths $4.50; twelve towels $1; One looking glass $5; eighteen chairs $10; 1 candle 50c; eighteen knives and forks $2.25; 1 pair iron dogs 75c; one pair shovel and tongs 75c; 1 pair bellows 20c; iron ware $1.60; tin ware $1.50; two waiters $2.50; 6 small silver spoons $3; dry cask $1.50; wooden ware $1.25; one brush 20c; 2 pair candlesticks $1, snuffers and tray 20c; Earthen ware 90c; four dozen earthen plates $4; 6 fish dishes $2; two tea pots 25c; Crockery and glass ware $7; Bible and other books $1.75; Meat chest and sieve 58c; trunk $1.50; woollen wheel and clothes horse $1.25; umbrella 25c; 2 pair cards 50c; quadrant $3 [could be used for navigation]; slate 17c [blackboard]; wearing apparel $15.

He owed debts of $106.89 to Sarah Choate; Robert Kimball; Mary Foster; John S. Jones; Wm M. Rogers; L Dodge; Joseph Farley, esq; Elizabeth Cogswell; Thomas Manning; Elizabeth Appleton and Eben & Stanford, collector taxes.

David Pinder debts

Elizabeth waived her right to keep a hundred dollars of the property as her “allowance” from the estate. She believed the estate was overvalued and prefered to take her allowance in cash from the proceeds of the sale. She prays the probate judge will order the sale.


probate 2

Elizabeth bought most of the items for less than the value in the inventory – Likely the secretary desk, the item with the highest value ($25), was a prized possession. Elizabeth was able to purchase it and the light stand for only $10. Total proceeds were $84.85. Elizabeth made the right decision to wait for the sale, rather than take items valued at $100. Other buyers each getting a few items included: Charles Symons; Moses Pinder; Hannah Smith; Daniel Cogswell & Ephraim Fellows.

21991-13 21991-14 21991-15 21991-16

Later Years

Elizabeth’s name is not found in the 1820 Federal Census.  This census includes only “head of household”, so she was likely residing with a family member or friend. Elizabeth appears in the 1830 census, in Malden, Massachusetts as head of household.  There are four others residing with her: 1 male age 5-10, 1 female age 5-10, 1 female age 10-15 (likely Nabby) and 1 female age 15-20 (likely Elizabeth). A search of  families enumerated nearby reveal no one who is seemingly a relative or associate from Ipswich.  Who are the two young children ages 5-10 residing with her? How/Why did she end up in Malden, a distance of about 25 miles from Ipswich?  Perhaps for a job in the factories? Elizabeth Pinder was the first of six generations to reside Malden (myself included), I have always been intrigued by her arrival, as it changed our destiny, but am unable to determine what drew her to town.

1830 neighbors – 1830neighbors

1830 census

Elizabeth in 1840, continues to reside in Malden, now with two males, one age 15-20 and another age 20-30.  Two people in the home are employed in manufacture and trade. Who are these boys?  Are both employed or is Elizabeth one of the two working?

1840 neighbors – 1840Neighbors

1840 census

By 1840, daughter Elizabeth had married Horatio Hall, son of Brian Hall and Polly Lane and was residing in Seekonk, Massachusetts with several children.  Nabby [Abigail] had twice married, first to Asa Knowlton in 1832 (he died in 1833) and second to Charles Cousens in 1836.  She died on 13 Apr 1840, in Malden, age 27, with no known children, cause unknown.

Between 1840 and 1842, daughter Elizabeth (Pinder) Hall’s family had relocated to Malden (they had a baby on 02 Feb 1840 in Seekonk, and then another on 17 Apr 1842, in Malden). The elder Elizabeth resided with Horatio and Elizabeth by 1850.  No one is the household was working.


Malden was quite different in 1850, I recently wrote of the town in a blog post about Elizabeth Pindar’s granddaughter, Ellen, who in 1850 was nine: http://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/week-5-52-ancestors-in-52-weeks-challenge/

Elizabeth died of cancer in bowels, 10 March 1853. Her death certificate lists her as widowed and born in Ipswich, but her parents are not named. The Ipswich newspaper included a short obituary: “Mrs. Elizabeth Pindar, aged 67 – a sincere devoted christian, beloved and respected by all”.


Who Were Her Parents?

If Elizabeth was 67 at death, she would have been born about 1786, thus, the likely candidate for Elizabeth’s parents are Thomas and Hannah (Smith) Jones who were married in Ipswich 2 Nov 1773.

thomas marriage

Elizabeth’s likely brother Amos, reported their parents deaths in his account book (full copy below):

mother Jones death

Father Jones death

In the article “Joseph Smith [1783-1881] Ipswich, Mass.”; from the Ipswich chronicle, May 28, 1881 (Read Here) several pages, beginning on page 22, are dedicated to the recollections of Elizabeth’s sister-in-law, Amos Jones’ wife. Many of the same names are included as well as a number of interesting stories.

In one section she speaks of Elizabeth’s mother, Hannah (Jones) Smith when the family home was opened to Whitefield, the Evangelist.  In 1740, Whitefield travelled to America where he preached a series of revivals that came to be known as the “Great Awakening”. He became perhaps the best-known preacher in Britain and America during the 18th century, and because he traveled through all of the American colonies and drew great crowds and media coverage, he was one of the most widely recognized public figures in colonial America.

husbands mother

Likely Elizabeth’s siblings are:

(1) Thomas – b. 14 Oct 1774; m. Eunice Hardy, 22 Feb 1797 in Ipswich; lived in Tamworth; d. 20 Aug 1846 Gloucester, Massachusetts

(2) Amos – b. 2 Mar 1776; became a blacksmith; m. Elisabeth Smith 30 June 1800; d. 23 Mar 1846 of consumption in Ipswich; he is named in David Pinder’s probate. Two known children: William. m. Lydia Hamilton, of Chatham, and Mary m. Samuel Caldwell.

amos tree

(3) Nabby – b. 13 Apr 1778; d. 26 Feb 1787, drowned in Ipswich River; perhaps why Elizabeth gave a daughter this name.

(4) Hannah – b. 11 Sept 1781; m. John Smith Jr., 26 May 1801 in Ipswich, he died a few weeks later; m. second Samuel Henderson, 24 April 1820 (see bottom left, page 1 brother Amos’ account book); d. d. 23 Mar 1846 a few hours before her brother Amos.


(5) John – b. 13 Jan 1784; likely died before 1788

(6) John Smith – b. 28 Apr 1788; became an upholsterer; m. Mary ______; d. 17 Aug 1864 Ipswich, High Street Cemetery. One known child Alfred C.

(7) William  – b. 15 Jun 1790; lived in Salem; m. Elisabeth Giles of Marblehead 21 Mar 1813; d. 8 May 1860.

(8) Abigail – b. 28 Aug 1792;

(9) Eunice – b. 11 Aug 1793; d. 3 Jul 1825 in Ipswich; a devout member of the Baptist church in Ipswich, single, no known children.


birth Eliz

more births

Account Book of Amos Jones (1794-1824) 

Elizabeth’s brother Amos, a Blacksmith kept an account book. Entries concern accounts, payments, travel, deliveries, and work schedule of Jones and others. The volume also contains more than 30 scattered vital records for family members and acquaintances, mostly deaths but including several births.  I found the original in special collections of NEHGS and took photos of each page.

Many names are mentioned, unfortunately there is nothing recorded of Elizabeth’s move to Malden or David Pinder’s death.  I have attempted to transcribe the vitals:

- Moses Willitt departed this life May 12 1819 [listed in Ipswich vitals as Moses Willett, age 43].

- Sam’l Appleton departed this life May 15 1819 [listed in Ipswich vitals as Samuel Appleton, age 81].

- Uncle James Smith departed this life Oct 27 1805  [listed in Ipswich vitals as Oct 28 1805, age 66; likely Amos’ mother’s brother].

- William Loft/Lost (?) and Morgan D___ (?) left, moved to Boston 13 Jan 1816.

- Captain David Lord departed this life Feb 19 1821 [listed in Ipswich vitals as age 64].

- Captain H____ Caldwell departed this life Jan 16 1822 [no likely match found in Essex County vital records]

- Nath Rust departed this life March 26 1822 [listed in Ipswich vitals as Nathaniel Rust].

- Ch. Lord Day 11 Aug 1816

- Mother Jones departed this life aged 1822 October 25 [likely Hannah (Smith) Jones]

- Capt Ingarsole departed this life May 20 1817 [listed in Ipswich vitals as Captain Jonathan Ingersoll, d. 21 May 1817, age 70].

-  Brother Sam’l Hinderson and  Sister Hannah were married April 24 1820 [likely Samuel Henderson & Amos’ sister Hannah Jones], 24 April 1820

- Benj Day departed this life April 7 1822  [listed in Ipswich vitals as Benjamin Day, age 67].

- 1813 Joseph Hunt departed this life Sept 16 [listed in Ipswich vitals].

- Cousin John Smith born Sept 1760 [listed as John Smith, father John, born 28 Sep 1760 in Ipswich vitals].

-Brother Isaac Kimball departed this life July 17 1823 [listed in Ipswich vitals as age 59].

Robert Farley departed this life July 20 1823  [listed in Ipswich vitals as age 65].

- 1824 ___ John Lord son born February 17 on Tuesday [no potential matches in Ipswich vitals].

- Jonathan Potter died 26 March 1824 aged 58 [matches in Ipswich vitals].

- Uncle John Fellows, died 31 Mar 1824, age 73 [matches in Ipswich vitals]. Likely son of Benjamin Fellows and the widow Sarah Elwell who married Martha Shatswell (Candlewood, an Ancient Neighborhood in Ipswich: With Genealogies, By Thomas Franklin Waters).

Mrs Eli Soward died 1 Apr 1824, age 57 [listed in Ipswich vitals as Elisabeth Soward, age 58, wife of Abraham].

- Elizabeth Rust departed this life March 30 1814 [listed in Ipswich vitals as wife of Nathaniel, age 54, d. 8 April 1814].

- Ant Cogswell departed this life Novemb__ 1816  [listed in Ipswich vitals as Anstice, wid. Francis, Nov. 1, 1816, a. 76 y.]

- Mother Smith departed this life age 64, Aug 20 1819 [likely Amos’ mother-in-law, mother of his wife Elisabeth Smith; listed in Ipswich vitals as Mary Smith, wid. Simon, Aug. 20, 1819, a. 66 y.]

- James Weber born the 17 November 1812 [no potential matches in Ipswich vitals].

- Mary Craft March 20 1816  [no potential matches in Ipswich vitals, possible that this entry is referring to Mary (Craft) Fellows ?].

- departed (?) aunt ____ Coombs (?) March 25 1813 [no potential matches in Ipswich vitals].

- Nath Whaman (?)  went home to _____ ___ 16 1814 [no potential matches in Ipswich vitals].

- Wm Chil_  born Oct 14 1813 [perhaps Charles William Smith b. 14 Oct 1813 to Ammi R & Sarah, Ipswich vitals].

- Father Jones departed this Life May 6 1824 age 71 (note above entry reads “on Friday year before”) [likely Amos’ father].

- Wm married 21 March 1819  [no potential matches in Ipswich vitals – perhaps Amos’ son William ?].

- Wife Wallis departed this life July 12 1813 [listed in Ipswich vitals as Mrs Margaret, d. 12 Jul 1813, wife of Aaron Wallis].

- Mr. Kilborn Rowley  ___ 13 of July 1813 [listed in Rowley vitals as Joseph Kilborn age 68].

- 1815 Father Smith departed this life, age 65, August 29 [listed in Ipswich vitals as Simon Smith, likely Amos’ father-in-law].

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Elizabeth’s Ancestors

Amos Jones’ grandson, Augustine Caldwell (son of Mary Jones and Samuel Caldwell) compiled the genealogy of his g-grandparents, Thomas and Hannah (Smith) Jones – Elizabeth (Jones) Pinder’s likely parents.  He does not offer sources for the Jones records, but claims the data for Hannah Smith “mostly” was extracted from the family bible.


Jones records Smith family bible

Elizabeth’s full tree still requires some research, but a rough draft is as follows – any Ipswich/Essex County cousins out there with further information?

Untitledeliz jones tree

52 Ancestors Week #31 – Shipmasters and Mariners

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


I have written extensively of the Lansil and Haines families, an interesting bunch, many of whom made their livelihood on the sea, a thrilling, albeit grueling and dangerous career choice.  The Lansil patriarch, Charles V. Lansil drowned off the shore of Bar Harbor, Maine. One of the Haines boys, James, was lost at sea 50 miles from Cape Ann while taking in the foresail in a gale of wind. Another, Alex Haines, lost his life, serving our country, when the Ticonderoga was torpedoed in WWI.

The “Captain Lansils” were all associated with Bangor area vessels (one exception below is the Curtis Tilton). The  information in the table was compiled mostly from digitized vessel registers available through Mystic Seaport’s Library page, but also drew from the articles, indexes and sources provided by the Maine Maritime Museum.  There were variations in spelling of both captains’ names and vessel names.


Captain Vessel Approximate dates of command
Charles V. Lansil Nellie Carr (schooner) 1869-1875
Charles V. Lansil Sch CV Lansil, Havener Jan 1853 damaged on way to Cuba
James P. Lansil Adeline Hamlin (I) (schooner) ?-1846
Adeline Hamlin (II) (schooner) 1846-1864
Ocean Wave (schooner) 1867-1875
Ada W. Gould (schooner) 1875-1876
Edward P. Lansil Chimo (schooner) 1871-1877
Curtis Tilton (schooner) 1881-1884
Joseph M. Hayes (schooner) 1885-1886
Anna E. J. Morse (schooner) 1886-1891
Unknown Lansil West Wind (schooner) 1856, 1857
Unknown Lansil Mary Lymburner (schooner) 1869-1873
Unknown Lansil Abbie E. Willard (schooner) 1870-1875
Unknown Lansil Apphia (Cld Ship) Shipping News, October 19, 1835

James P. “Jim” Lansil, sixth child of Charles V. and Ruth (Paine) Lansil, born in Bangor, Maine, 30 Sept 1918 (my 3rd great grand uncle), was one of the fortunate.

james lansil


James first married, 4 Feb 1838, Martha Colby, daughter of Timothy Colby and Mary Mayhew.  They had seven known children: George, John F., Elbridge T., Francis S., Arthur J., Oscar, and Edward P.  Martha died in Oct 1855.  James married second 27 Dec 1857, Mrs. Thankful S. Mitchell (likely the surname of her first husband as she is given the title “Mrs”; according to the 1880 census she had a twin sister Eliza B. Nash; her maiden name may have been Rowe), with whom he had no known children. She died in 1887.

James bio



wallet stolen

James died 16 June 1902 at Snug Harbor, an institution to care for “aged, decrepit and worn-out” seamen, a 130-acre plot on Staten Island overlooking the Kill Van Kull, founded through a bequest after the death of Revolutionary War soldier and ship master Captain Robert Richard Randall.

He the index of the Snug Harbor collection as James Lansie – http://www.sunymaritime.edu/stephenblucelibrary/sailorssnugharbor/search.asp?look_for=lansie

1) Lansie, James P.
Inmate No.: 3465
Admission App.: Y; Admission Date: 6/29/1901
Death Certificate: Y; Date of Death: 6/16/1902
Medical Record: Y; Social Record: N
Photograph: N; Citizenship Certificate: N
Any Correspondences: none; Readmitted?: No Information
Miscellaneous Documents: none
snug harbor paperwork
Upon being admitted, he reported having had Rheumation and Malaria. He was described as have issues with Senility and Chronic Intestinal Nephritis and was feeble.  He was aged and worn out; a widower with two living sons.His first voyage at sea was from Bangor, Maine to Providence, Rhode Island on the Sch. James laden with lumber in 1830.  His final voyage was on the Ada Gould in 1877.  Total sea service was 45 years – 20 years Foreign Trade/20 years Coastwise. His employers, all of Bangor, were Joseph Oakes, John Cassidy, James Littlefield and Daniel Green. He retired from the sea at age 60, then for 5 summers he was in charge of the buildings at the Eastern Maine Fair. He then, for several years, sold silver polish to residents in Bangor.  At time of admittance he owned no property and had no means of support. He tried to obtain a pension, unsuccessfully, for the death of a son in the Army of Rebellion.  He had no other source of income.At the time of his death, the following parties were notified:
- Geo. Lansil, 308 Center St., Bangor, Me. [son]
– Mrs Fannie Lansil Eames, 1187 St Marks Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. [James’s deceased son Edward, married Fannie Sarah Carr and had a daughter Edith who married Harrison Eames; in 1900 the three were residing together at this address – this likely refers to Fannie Carr Lansil or Edith Lansil Eames or both].
– Oscar Lansil, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Returned [son]
– Miss Ada W. Gould, Albany, N.Y. Care Geo. B. Adams [step-granddaughter]
His personal effects included: 1 pckge letters, 2 walking sticks, 2 pen knives, 2 pr scissors, 3 books, 13 plintos, 2 razors, 3 tea spoons, 1 shaving brush,  1 blacking brush, 1 purse, 1 razor strip, 1 shaving _____, letters and papers, 2 handkerchiefs, 1 pr spectacles, 1 silver watch, cash 14 cents.
personal effects
Click on the links below to view additional documents:


The New York Tribune, on 6 July, published a tribute on the front page:


Distressing Experience of Sea Captain Who Died Recently at Sailor’s Snug Harbor

Bangor, Me., July 5 (Special) – Captain James P. Lansil, of Bangor, the oldest of all Maine’s retired mariners, died last week at the Sailor’s Snug Harbor. Staten, N.Y., where he had peacefully spent the closing days of a life filled with perils and the hard toll of the sea. Captain Lansil would have been eighty-six years old in September but until his last illness he walked with a firm step and his eye was as bright as when he went on on his first trip to the sea more than sixty years ago. This old sailor was very different from the common run of shipmasters, for, although he had been through many exciting adventures and visited nearly every important port in the world, he was not at all given to spinning yarns, never drank a drop of liquor in his life, never used tobacco in any form and never was heard to utter a profane word.

The story of Captain Lansil’s adventures afloat would make a book, but the only thing that ever appeared in print concerning his voyaging was a little paragraph, published in the newspapers in the fall of 1876, announcing the loss at sea of the schooner Ada W. Gould, of Bangor.  Of his experiences on that occasion, Captain Lansil never gave any extended account until last fall, when, in a drouth, some one remarked what a dry time it was and how Maine was suffering for water. At this, Captain Lansil spoke up, saying;

“What, water? Why, there’s water enough here! How would you like to go nine days without a single drop of water?”

That brought out the story of the loss of the Ada W. Gould, upon which the Captain had always preserved silence, disliking to recall his awful experiences when he lost his vessel. It was the first narrative of the tragedy in midocean, in which two men were drowned, while five others came near to death, being rescued after fourteen days on a wreck, nine days of which they suffered the tortures of thirst, while for the entire period they scarcely had a morsel to eat.

It was on August 16, 1876 that the Ada W. Gould, a centerboard schooner of 150 tons, sailed from New York with a general cargo for Rio Grande do Sul, South America. Her company consisted of Captain James P. Lansil, master; Charles Wyatt, mate; Arthur Lansil, son of the Captain as steward; Oscar Lansil, another son of the captain and two seamen.  She also carried a passenger, John Coler, of Chicago.

On August 25, nine days out, when the vessel was well to the southeast of Bermuda, she took a heavy gale from the south-southeast. Being a new vessel, she stood up under it very well until the afternoon of the 27th, when the seas began to come aboard, thundering upon her decks as though bound upon sinking her. The glass ran down rapidly, and then, becoming alarmed, Captain Lansil ordered the men forward to come aft. The gale developed into a hurricane at sunset, and the schooner was hove to under a double reefed mainsail, while lifelines were strung and the word passed for every man on deck to lash himself fast.

At 9:53 o’clock that night Captain Lansil was below trying to quiet the fears of the passenger, Coler, when a great commotion on deck startled him, and he went up to see what was going on. A water cask had broken from its lashings and was banging across decks at a fearful rate, threatening to knock out the bulwarks. The cask was secured, and Captain Lansil remained on deck, the rest of the watch consisting of Mate Wyatt and one seaman.  Had Captain Lansil remained below with the passenger he would not have lived to tell the story. Five minutes after he came on deck the vessel was on her beam ends, and Coler, the passenger was penned in the captain’s room, where they had been talking.  The room being on the lee side he was drowned.

It was just 10 o’clock when the watch on deck saw a terrible sea coming straight for the vessel. It was a hollow comber, with a streak of yellow foam glittering along its lofty crest. It rushed along with the speed of a cyclone and broke upon the little schooner with a crash that shook her from keel to trunk. Captain Lansil said that this comber beat anything he had ever seen in all his long experience towering at least fifty feet in the air. The shock when this sea struck the Ada W. Gould was frightful. In an instant the foremast was whipped out of her, taking with it the forward house, and tearing a big hole in the deck. The schooner was knock on her beam ends as if she were a toy, and there she remained for an hour, until the men could get an axe and cut away the weather main rigging, which done the mainmast snapped off like a pipestem, and she righted.

The two Lansil boys and the other sailor, who were below, managed to get out of the house through the windows , after stripping off their clothing; but Coler, the passenger, was helpless in his stateroom, under hundreds of tons of water. The gale continued to increase in fury and the men on deck lashed themselves to the house.  Then there was nothing to do but wait and pray for rescue.  Every cask of water had been swept away, and the was no food within reach while the tremendous seas swept the wreck, which now, half full of water, had settled so the decks were awash.

On the second day, Oscar Lansil, with a rope tied around him went down into the cabin to search for whatever morsels of food might be there.  The corpse of the drowned passenger was washing about in  the cabin, the stateroom doors having been stove in by the seas, and young Lansil had to fight off this ghastly battering ram while he looked about for something to eat.  Finally he secured a can of corn and a few small salted and dried fish. This food was quickly devoured by the starving men, and then, their thirst increased by the salt in the fish, the sufferers cried aloud to heaven for water.  There was no water. The sky gave not a drop, and the vessel’s cask had all been stove or washed away.

At 8 o’clock that morning, Wyatt, the mate, was lost.  He disregarded the captain’s orders to keep himself lashed and went poking around in the waist, where a big sea caught and swept him overboard.  His shipmates saw him drown, without being able to move a hand to save him.

For five days the five survivors suffered awful tortures and then on the sixth day after the wreck one of the men found a harpoon iron. With this they split off a piece of the companionway slide,  of which they made a handle for the harpoon. The seas had stove off the hatches and Captain Lansil remembered that directly under the after hatch the stevedores had place a lot of condensed milk in boxes.  Here was hope! The first drive of the harpoon brought up a box of the milk, and on that the men feasted greedily.  It was all heavy and sweet, however, and made them all sick.

On the eighth day they were tantalized by a steamer coming within an eighth of a mile and passing without noticing them.  It was 2 o’clock in the morning and they had no lights to show.  When the steamer had faded away in the night, the crew raved and cursed and Captain Lansil himself, calm and unexcitable  man that he was, declared afterward that he thought he would go mad when the big ship passed him by.

On the ninth day came a blessing from heaven – a heavy shower. The men got a bale of sheeting from the cargo tore it up and soaked the cloth in the rain, then wringing it into a half barrel which they managed to catch from the drifting raffle in the waist. In this way, they got plenty of water. They drank until they were stupid, their stomachs becoming painfully distended.

Rescue came at last on the fourteenth day after the wreck. At 6 o’clock in the morning the pitiful group on the Ada W. Gould’s quarter gave a shout of joy, for there, full abeam, was a stately clipper ship under full sail standing directly for them. She was the Golden State of New-York, Captain Delano from New York for Shanghai.  She took them off, and all except Captain Lansil went along in her to Shanghai he being transferred a few days afterward to the British brig Courser, from Port Elizabeth C. G. H. for Swansea.

Captain Lansil came home to Bangor in December, his sons following in June. None of them have been on salt water since the loss of the Ada W. Gould marking the closing of history at sea of the most famous family of shipmasters that ever sailed from Bangor.  Three of the six Lansil boys were captains, and one of them Charles V. Lansil, now dead, followed the sea for sixty-one years, forty-four years of that time as master.

ada gould story2


The article reporting the loss, reveals that the vessel was built by Messrs Joseph Oakes & Son (Capt. George Oakes, who sailed one or more of the ships built by his father) of Brewer, Maine in 1875 and was owned in part by James Lansil with Joseph Oakes and others.

Newspaper obituary, 1881:

Death of Joseph Oakes. We regret to announce, this morning, the death of Joseph Oakes, Esq., which occurred in Brewer yesterday at the age of about sixty six years. Probably no man on the river had a wider circle of acquaintances, or was more highly esteemed by all who have ever had business intercourse with him, than Mr. Oakes. Engaged for the past forty years in the business of building and repairing vessels, his enterprise and energy have probably made business for more men in his line of business than any other man upon the river. In times of depression, when no one else could be found with sufficient courage to lay the keel of a vessel, he has gone forward and laid keel after keel, giving employment to many men, and support to many families who otherwise knew not where to look during the long winter months either for employment or support. He was a man whose integrity was never questioned, but all who dealt with him gave him the credit of being a thoroughly honest man. He will be much missed and deeply lamented, not only by his fellow townsmen of Brewer, but by a widely extended circle of acquaintance. His funeral will take place from his late residence in Brewer on Sunday at two o’clock in the afternoon. Masters of vessels in port are requested to display their colors at half-mast on the day of the funeral.

This article further claims that the Lansil boys on-board were James’ son and a nephew (the later version of the story names two sons, which I believe to be correct).  Lansil, a sea captain for 30+ years had been a master who owned part of each ship he sailed for twenty years. He was an esteemed citizen of Bangor.

sink ada

It seems that neither boy returned to sea; James’ son Arthur became a painter and died, age 38, after inhaling paint fumes. Oscar lived to age of 85 having become a restaurateur and carpenter.

boy lansil deaths


Several years ago, the g-g-grandaughter of mate Russell Charles Wyatt, messaged me: “Just wanted to let you know that by posting the Boston Daily Globe article from 1876 on the schooner Ada W. Gould, you helped me solve the frustrating mystery of exactly where and how my great-great grandfather, Russell C. Wyatt, was lost at sea. He was also a schooner captain from Bangor, but apparently was a mate on your relative’s (CAPT James Lansil’s) ship, the Ada W. Gould, in late 1876″.

No further information was found on Chicago passenger John Coler/Coller.

Likely, the schooner Ada W. Gould was named for James’ (step) granddaughter of the same name, who at age 12 is found living with him at 32 Lincoln Street, Bangor, in 1880; she would have been about 8 when the tragedy occurred. I do not believe her to be blood related. Ada is likely the daughter of Flora Mitchell (1838-1880) and Peltiah Winter Gould, Flora was James’ second wife Thankful’s daughter from her previous marriage. Ada is mentioned as residing in Albany, New York in James’s Snug Harbor paperwork, her whereabouts after 1902 are unknown.

Ada W gould census


Using Newspapers to Learn of Ancestors Lives and Times

Newspaper articles can reveal amazing details of your ancestors’ lives and personalities. As with all documents, there may be errors; always seek primary sources to confirm details.

Most online newspaper sites use optical character recognition (OCR). OCR is not perfect, For example r n is often read as m,  l is often t and vice versa,  p can be read as a y.  I try to look for letters that look similar to each other or that perhaps look like another letter when close to each other.  For example, Thorn could be interpreted as Thom.  So a search for “John Thorn” may come up null, but by changing the search to “John Thom” you may get some hits. Sometimes the OCR technology doesn’t work , especially if the paper is dark or the letters smeared.

For better results search on something other than a name. Find a street address in the census or street directory, then search for that address, like  “32 Lincoln” AND Bangor or “Lansil of Bangor”.

Look for the weather report on the date they were married or the day they stepped outside at Ellis Island; what were the headlines that day?; how interesting to know what your family was experiencing on those special days.  Browse papers published in their lifetime to learn of current news and events in their hometown, the cost of shoes, apples, horse carriages or homes.

Using date constraints might exclude pertinent results, I have found a number of ancestors in articles published as “XX years ago today”; one offering a detailed description of an ancestor’s home; another reuniting a grown woman with the policeman  and who rescued her as an infant, and recounting the story.

Search on their occupations in the area where they resided, and consider that sometimes other locations may have picked up stories relevant to your ancestors. A search on the keywords “Bangor” and “Sailor” revealed an article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, New York, 7 Sept 1902 which offers some insight into the life of a Maine sailor.


Of all the sailors on the sea, the down east coaster does the hardest work, braves the greatest dangers and gets the poorest rewards. His occupation has aptly been described as “tempting fate at $25 a month”. The coaster is an unsung hero, but he is unconscious of that and would call it square if freights were fairly good from Bangor to Boston and there were not more than ten consecutive days of easterly wind in any one month.

The Maine coaster is a queer mixture of sailor, farmer and business man and frequently he is also an expert deep sea fisherman. Many of the masters of the little schooners have in their younger days sailed round and round the world finally settling down in some seacoast village and buying a small craft of which they can be at once the managing owner and skipper and in which they can make a living by eight months sailing, hauling the vessel up and taking comfort at home from Thanksgiving to Christmas till spring. Some of the masters sail vessels owned by other people, either for a stated salary or “on shares” and occasionally it happens that the vessel is sort of a family affair, being manned and owned by father and sons or by brothers.  In times of disaster, this arrangement is quite unfortunate, for when the vessel goes down, the whole family is likely to go with her, leaving behind a pitiful array of widows and orphans. Such a case occurred in the loss of the schooner Ella Brown, several of the Peabody family of Jonesport having gone down in that vessel in the great November northeaster last year.

 The natives of the Maine coast towns and of the islands that are strewn along shore from Portland to Quoddy Head are among the finest sailors in the world. They are sailors from force of circumstance, hardy from inheritance and “cute” because they are Yankees.  No other men could make a living coasting out of these waters, and how the natives do it is a source of wonder to everyone who ever studied the subject. The coaster begins “going” when he is 12 or 14 years old and quits when he is too old to stand a watch at the wheel, if he manages to stay above water for that long.  Man or boy, he is generally lank and lean, with a skin like leather, a constitution of iron and a capacity to endure hardships without complaint.  His vessel is generally of great age and small size – 50 to 150 tons and 20 to 60 years old, rigged as a two masted schooner.  Generally she is a dull sailor and almost always she leaks like a basket.  Only the fact that she carries lumber accounts for her being so long afloat – hundreds of the old hookers now going would have been on bottom long ago only their cargoes wouldn’t let them sink.

An average size coaster trading between Maine ports and Boston carries a master, mate, one seaman and a “cook and hand”; many of them make trips from Bangor to Boston with but two or three men all told, and last summer, the schooner Angler, 80 tons was navigated from Boston to Calais and half-way back again by her master single handed.  The coaster’s cargo is, nine times in ten, lumber, and she gets $1.50 to $1.75 a thousand feet for carrying it from Bangor to Boston.  Out of this, she has to pay for loading and discharging, for towages, commissions to brokers, crew’s wages and stores.  The stores are salk pork, salt codfish, molasses, potatoes, baking powder and kerosene; there may be a chunk or two of corned beef, and in the fall of the year the skipper will add cabbages, apples, onions, etc., to the menu but at no time is the fare so rich or varied as to worry the cook or invite the gout. A man who wants to “go” must be both strong and willing, not only to reef, band and steer, but to work cargo as well, for it frequently happens that there are no stevedores available or that the skipper is unwilling to pay for loading and discharging. If the man sailing before the mast manages to put in six months in a year at $25, a month, he is doing as well as the average of coasters; the mate and the “cook” and “hand” get a little more and the captain gets whatever circumstances, weather-luck and his business abilities allow. This may be considerable or it may be nothing at all.

Occasionally it happens that a man gets rich at coasting, but this is when he gets a start in the world through superior business ability or seamanship or through friends who put him into one of those maritime marvels – the new style twentieth century coasters, four, five or six masted. The Coombse’s and Pendleton’s of Penobscot Bay and the Crowley’s of Massachusetts are of this cass, and Captain “Linc” Jewett of Portland is also a shining example. 

Several other families have accumulated wealth in the shipping business. The great majority, however, remain poor and take their chances in vessels that have the poorest possible reputations in underwriters’ offices. 

The awful risks taken by the men who go to sea in the old-fashioned coasters are set forth with tragic brevity in the wreck reports.  In the eighteen months ending December 3, 1899, 221 sailing vessels hailing from New England posts, mostly from Maine and Massachusetts, were lost, nearly all on the New England coast, and with them 255 lives.  The majority of these disasters occurred in one gale – that of November 1898 the like of which may not be experienced again in a lifetime and may come any day.

When a winter gale strikes one of the big new schooners she doesn’t mind it so much, being strong and able, and well manned and found. If necessary she can put to sea and run before it, coming on again at leisure.  She will be dry as a ship, and there will be no lack of food or water; she had steam engines to pull and haul, steam pumps to fight a leak, even steam to blow her for horn, and the man at the wheel stands often beside a steam radiator in a wheel house protected by plate glass windows.  But the little, old fashioned coaster, loaded decks with green lumber, worse still with coal, she is overwhelmed by the northeaster; her old sails and rigging are not fit to stand such weather, and when she springs a leak, as inevitably she must, her few tired men, haggard from loss of sleep, with empty stomachs and frostbitten fingers, must rack their weary frames at pumps in a desperate battle with death.  Too often death wins. If the wreck comes ashore there will be some few details of the tragedy; if not, then the people at home only know that the vessel sailed and never returned. This latter fate is the bitterest of all, for it keeps the wives and mothers waiting and hoping for weeks and months after everyone else has given up. 

There seems to be no such thing as breaking a coaster’s nerve.  The same men who have looked death in the face a dozen times, will go again, without thought apparently. 

The article continues, describing of a number of Maine sea captains.  James Lansil and the Ada W. Gould included.  The article reveals that James’ brother, likely Charles V., advised against the journey. It further claims that although the shipwreck did not break James’ spirit it broke his health, thus he never sailed again.

ada gould story

James owned property valued at $1,500 in 1870, a bit on the low end in comparison to many of his neighbors, a few of whom had estates valued over $10,000; but he was a homeowner (probate records indicate that some Lincoln Street property was also in Thankful’s name, additional research is needed but perhaps from her parents or first husband).  In any case, would like to believe that while not wealthy, our Lansil’s were good hardworking men who made a comfortable living for their families.



thankful land

Next, in the Lewiston Evening Journal – Jun 23, 1917, an article recollecting Bangor in days gone by…..  http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1913&dat=19170623&id=Mg0gAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ZGUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2170,4649213

Reflections on a Deserted Fort

A man who spent his boyhood along the wharves of Bangor when this was one of the greatest lumber ports of the world, went down to get a look at the river the other day and saw, where formerly was a forest of masts, two three-masters, seven two-masters, a couple of tugs and a few coal barges. Except for these. the long lines of wharves were deserted and decaying and the lonesome sight made the old-timer heart sick.

He could remember when he could walk from City Point to the lumber docks just below Bangor bridge upon the decks of vessels moored there in a tier, with lines out astern to the piers and anchors in the stream; when there was another tier of vessels at the old Maine central wharves below Railroad street; when ships and barks were moored to the old toll bridge tiers, while the Brewer shore was lined with vessels moored at the wharves, repairing at the yards, and docks or anchored on the flats; when half a dozen busy sawmills below the city each had a considerable fleet loading and when High Head docks flew the flags of all nations, on all sorts of craft from the squat Italian Brig to the proud Yankee ships fresh from the yards of Bath, Belfast, Camden and Thomaston. 

Also he could remember when the river was so choked with coasters that William Connors, king of the log drivers, had hard work to get his   rafts down to the mills and the “scull-oar” men engaged in vigorous exchange of compliments with the obstructors of the channel, whie Capt. Sam Jordan, with C.B. Sanford, greatest of all the river tugs, or the famous Ralph Ross, noted for her pulling power dragged lumber laden fleets, often 20 sail at a time, down the river, swinging the tows in tiers of four or five as easy as the tugmen of today move one vessel. He remembered too, when, when as a harbormaster’s boy, he was often sent post haste Ross & Howell’s office to get a tug to clear the channel so that Capt. Otis Ingraham could get in and out with the famous and fast steamer Cambridge or Captain Roix could squeeze the old Katahdin through the maze of anchored shipping.   Often the sailing vessels, the steamboats and the log tows would get mixed to a tangle that gave the tugboats and Harbor Master Charles V. Lansil a hard job to clear up, and the volume of energetic elegance expended on those occasions would be enough to keep the politicians going thru a long campaign. 

Where Bangor once had vessels in the hundreds it now has them in twos and threes.  Then vessels waited for berths; now the berths wait for vessels. Boarding houses lined Front, lower Broad and Union streets, whereun deep-water sailors from the four corners of the world ate and drank their merry fill and sang lifting, songs of the sea. Today the boarding houses are inhabited by woodsmen and laborers, a sailorman is a rare being in parts.

Time was when Exchange street was to Bangor what South street is to New York. In the palmy day of Bangor’s port the street was with the offices of ship brokers, lumber manufacturers and ship agents and the stores of ship builders, the towboat office was a busy place, there were several sail ___ nearby and the neighborhood was redolent of the forests and the sea.  All these and more were along exchange street, but few of them are left. Today they are occupied by clothing stores, barber shops, shooting galleries, mobile showrooms and other businesses all very different…It speaks of Vincent Willard’s “little shop” over at the ferryway with its doughnuts jumbles and milk and soft beer, famous sweet apples….

The article continues, naming and describing some of Bangor’s characters… It names the old shipmasters, including the Lansil’s, Charles and James - “all of whom would starve to death now”.

Bangor waterfront

1880 – Penobscot River, Bangor from the Brewer Bridge, looking down river at the rafts of cut long lumber, ready for shipping. Schooners on both sides of the river are waiting on loads (http://penobscotmarinemuseum.org).


R2012.8.51, Frank Claes Collection, Bangor, Maine in 1880. Thirty five vessels at the mouth of the Kenduskeaag stream, near site of Union Station. Box cars, train tracks and lumber piles.

Tug Bismark towing lumber schooners

1890 – Tug Bismark off Odom’s Ledge, Fort Point, towing six schooners up the Penobscot River to Bangor (http://penobscotmarinemuseum.org).

Newspapers I use most often:

Fulton History (free)-  http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html which has 26,800,000 mostly Old New York State Historical Newspaper Pages, all searchable (I have noticed a few Pennsylvania papers).

Library of Congress (free) –  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/#tab=tab_newspapers, Chronicling America, America’s historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922.

Google News (free) – http://news.google.com/newspapers

Boston Public Library (free with library card) – http://search.proquest.com/hnpnewyorkbostonglobe/index?accountid=9675&groupid=107814; most larger libraries will have similar database access for library card holders for use in library or from home

Remember that there are offline searchable newspapers as well. The Malden Public Library in Massachusetts has old copies of the Malden Evening News on microfilm.  While not searchable, I was able to find birth, marriage and death notices by collecting vital records and searching newspapers a week before and after those dates.

Penn Libraries has a nice summary of historic newspapers available by state – http://guides.library.upenn.edu/historicalnewspapersonline


52 Ancestors Week #30 – The Mayflower Connection, Ruth (Paine) Lansil

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”


Prior to applying for membership to the Society of Mayflower Descendants, for a small fee ($20) you are able to submit a “Proposed Lineage Form” and they will determine if a portion of your line has already been accepted:  https://www.themayflowersociety.org/preliminary-review-forms/view/form

I submitted my lineage and found that someone, in 1990, had been accepted for a line through to my g-g-grandfather, Edwin Lansil’s sister, Frances “Fannie” (Lansil) Bragg (http://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/52-ancestors-week-23-edwin-lansil-the-not-so-famous-brother/)

(14) me -> (13) my dad -> (12) my grandmother->(11) Edith Bernice Lansil (m. William John Haines) ->(10) Edwin Lansil (m. Jane Catherine Roberts) -> (9) Asa Paine Lansil (m. Betsey Turner Grout) -> (8) Ruth C. Paine (m. Charles V. Lansil) -> (7) James Paine (m. Elizabeth Cobb) ->(6) Thomas Paine (m. Mary Vickery) -> (5) Major Thomas Paine (m. Thankfull Cobb) -> (4) Captain Thomas Paine (m. Hannah Shaw) ->(3) Mary Snow (m. Thomas Paine)->(2) Constance Hopkins (m. Nicholas Snow) ->(1) Stephen Hopkins

Deborah Moore, State Historian at the New Hampshire Society of Mayflower Descendants (who was a great help in assisting with my application), identified a potential “issue”. Fannie and Edwin’s grandmother, Ruth Paine’s lineage, was recorded as “weak – circumstantial”.  Admittance criteria is stricter today, prior lineage acceptance does not guarantee election for future applicants of that line.

I set out to convincingly argue that it is “probable” not just “possible” that Ruth Lansil who died 1837 in Bangor, ME, wife of Charles V. Lansil (Lansill, Lansel, Lansell, Lanselle, Lancle, Lancil, Lancel to name a few variations) and mother of Asa Paine Lansil is the Ruth born in Truro, Massachusetts to James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine on 17 September 1783; and thus a descendant of Stephen Hopkins who arrived on the Mayflower.

mayflower entry

The History of Penobscot County

ruth bio

“The History of Penobscot County, Maine: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches”, published by Williams, Chase & Company, 1882 (http://openlibrary.org/books/OL14013119M/History_of_Penobscot_County_Maine) describes the life of the Bangor Lansil’s through the eyes of two living children.  Son James was born about 1816, and would have been about 66 when the biography was written, while Charles Jr., born about 1808, would have been 74 (he died the year after publication). As I have discovered inaccurate details in many published (unsourced) narratives, I regard historical accounts with some skepticism. In this case, both men were alive when the biography was written, making it likely they were consulted and thus more likely that the biography is mostly factual (unless they had reason to lie or exaggerate, which seems unlikely).

Their mother is named as: (a) “Ruth C. Paine born on Cape Cod in the year 1778″ and (b) “Charles V. Lancil…settled in Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he married Ruth Paine”.  She was said to have eight children: (1) Thomas P., (2) Mary P., (3) Betsey, (4) Charles V., (5) Asa P., (6) James P., (7) Ephraim P. and (8) George W.

Ruth’s husband, Charles V. Lansil/Lancil born about 1768 in France was said to have emigrated at age 18, settled at Cape Cod for about 24 years, then moved to Bucksport, Maine [known as Buckstown until 1817], then relocated to Sunkhaze [now Milford, Maine] and finally migrated to Bangor, Maine, where he died.

This would place Ruth’s husband, Charles V., on the Cape from about 1786 to 1810 before their move to Bucksport, Maine [the family was not found in the 1810 census, but their fifth child, Asa, was reportedly born in Bucksport in 1812; Bucksport Vital Records did not survive, his birth was recorded with his death entry in Bangor church records].

The biography further claims that Charles V. Lansil, the fourth child, was born in Chatham, Massachusetts September 16, 1808. If the fourth child was born in Chatham in 1808, it is likely that the first three were also born on the Cape.

To date, one potential birth record was discovered.  The third child, Betsey, was born 10 October 1806 as recorded in Chatham town records February 1808.

betsey birth

Betsey’s has not been definitively identified in census or death records to aid in confirming this birth date. She filed a marriage intention in 1826, to Aaron McKinney, an indication that she was “of age” [she would have been about 20].

betsey married

We do know she was likely the third child and that since the fourth child was born September 16, 1808 in Chatham, her birth must have occurred within a few years of 1808. So she could be the same Betsey, which would place Charles and Ruth on the Cape in 1806.

Furthermore, if Ruth was born in 1778, she likely would have married after 1794 (age 16). Assuming all of their children were legitimate (and none were twins), and given that third child was born in 1806, she likely married before 1804.

A Land Deed

A land deed from, Bangor, Book 48 pages 129 & 130 dated 17 April 1834,  shows all of Charles V. Lansil’s heirs and children together buying a lot of land near the Penobscot River for the price of $325 from three merchants named William Emerson, Wiggins Hill and James McLaughlin (Dionysia Hill, wife of Wiggins releases her dower).

The names of the Lansil children/heirs listed match the History of Penobscot County (including the initial “P” in many of their names) and include: Mary P. Dudley, Betsy McKinney, Charles, Thomas P., Asa P., James P., Ephraim P. and George W.

Interesting that they purchased as “heirs” and not on their own behalf.  The land office wasn’t even sure why the purchase was written this way.  As of 1821, married women in Maine, were allowed to own and manage property in their own name in case their spouse became incapacitated which explains Mary & Betsey being included in the transaction and not their spouses (http://womensrights.hubpages.com/hub/Womens-rights-timeline).

land deed

 The Middle Initial “P” 

Ruth’s son (my 3rd g-grandfather), Asa, signs as “Asa Paine Lansil” in 1842 when was baptized and became the 321st or 322nd member of the Hammond Street Church, Bangor; further evidence that “Paine” was likely a family name:

asa church


church records



asa member

Asa’s death recorded in Boston in 1890, reports his mother as “Ruth born in Truro”:

Asa death

The death, also recorded at Hammond Street Church, again names him as Asa Paine Lansil. The document reports that Asa, the fifth child, was born October 1812 in Bucksport, Maine, which coincides with the timeline given in the History of Penobscot County:

asa death hammond Asa death


Ruth’s children Thomas, Mary, James & Ephraim are recorded in a variety of documents with the middle initial “P” .  I have not discovered any that specify the “P” is for Paine, other than Asa’s, but it would seem likely that they were given the same family name.

Ruth’s Death and Probate

When Ruth passed in November 1837, the newspaper and death indexes reported her age as 53, which would put her birth about 1784 (six years later than the reported 1778 in The History of Penobscot County, although it doesn’t seem unreasonable for a child to miscalculated an elder’s birth year).

ruth death


Only daughters Betsey McKinney and Mary Dudley are named in Ruth’s will with Betsey being named as executrix and awarded the majority of the estate.  This does not add to the case, other than further supporting the fact that the marriage intention filed in 1826, between Betsey Lansil and Aaron McKinney was indeed Ruth’s daughter.

Ruth will

The inventory of Ruth’s estate does not offer clues to her parentage, but I include it here in the event that other descendants are reading and interested.



Census Records

1800 Federal Census

  • There are a number of entries for “Paine” in Truro, however Ruth can not be definitively identified. In that census year, only head of household was identified by name; her father James was deceased; her mother Elizabeth might have also died (unsourced online trees). Ruth would have likely have been listed  in the category “Free white females 16 – 26″ in 1800, of which there were 124 in Truro.
  • No variation of Lansil (searching on Lan*l* & L*ns* & L*nc*) – John, Charles or any other male first name could be located in New England.  A page by page search of the Truro, Provincetown and Chatham censuses revealed no likely matches. Charles may have been at sea or boarding in a home and thus not named.
  •  Interestingly, the 1800 Buckstown, Maine [ now Bucksport, ME] census includes a column entitled “from whence emigrated”; about 50 of 134 heads of households, residing in Buckstown (more than a third of residents), report to be of Cape Cod.

[1] Ancestry.com wild card search; and “like” searches  in FamilySearch & name search in Heritage Quest

[2] Year: 1800; Census Place: Truro, Barnstable, Massachusetts; Roll: 13; Page: 66; Image: 70; Family History Library Film: 205611.

1810 Federal Census

  • There is only 1 variation ofLansil (searching on Lan* & L*ns & L*nc*) – John, Charles or any other male first name.
    • John Lasell, Windham, Connecticut; 7 household members – 3<16; 4 >25 (in 1810, Charles and Ruth would have had four family members under the age of 16, not three; and in 1820, when Ruth and Charles were enumerated in Bangor, a John Lassell, was enumerated in Windham, Connecticut; additionally a  marriage is reported between John Lassell and Elizabeth Dana, 15 Apr 1770, in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, on Ancestry.com. Early Connecticut Marriages).
  • Charles V. Lansil and family may have been residing in Truro, Chatham or in Buckstown, that census year – however, he was not found in a page by page review of the census for those towns. They might have been in transit, residing with others or simply missed by the enumerator..

1820 Federal Census

  • Lan* reveals 168 results in Ancestry.com there is 1 variation of the surname Lansil (I also browsed L*ns* with no promising results).
  • There is a Charles V.Lancell in Bangor, ME
    • 3 Males <10
    • 1 Male 10-15
    • 1 Males 16-25
    • 1 males >45
    • 1 female <10
    • 1 female 10-15
    • 1 female 16-25
    • 1 female 26-44

1820 Bangor census

In 1820 census records, if Ruth Lansil of Bangor was the eldest female listed as living in the household of Charles V. Lansil, and if the enumerator recorded the information properly, then she was between the age of 26-44 (putting her birth between 1776-1795).

1830 Federal Census

  • There is a Charles V.Lancil in Bangor, ME
    • 1 Males 5-9
    • 2 Males 10-14
    • 1 Male 15-19
    • 1 Male 20-29
    • 1 male 50-59
    • 1 female20-29
    • 1 female 40-49

1830 census

In 1830, the eldest woman, likely Ruth, in Charles V.’s household was between the ages of 40-49 (putting her birth between 1780-1790).

Cape Cod Marriages

So we have established that Ruth’s maiden name was likely Paine and that she was born on the Cape, about 1778 – 1784, likely in Truro where she married Charles V. Lansil, between 1794 (or 1800 if she was born 1784) and 1804.

Only one potential marriage intention and record were located in Cape Cod:

Intention: John Lancle of Provinctown and Ruth pain of Truro Published Octobr 16 — 1800


Marriage: Novembr 13 John Lancelee of Provincetown to Ruth Paine [1800]

truro records marriage

Wikipedia: French people have one, two or more given names. One of them, almost always the first, is used in daily life (but someone can also have a usage name that was not given); the others are solely for official documents, such as birth, death and marriage certificates. Traditionally, most people were given names from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. Common names of this type are Jacques (James), Jean (John), Michel (Michael), Pierre (Peter), or Jean-Baptiste (John the Baptist) for males. The prevalence of given names follow trends with some names being popular in some years, and some considered definitely out-of-fashion. Others never really went out-of-fashion such as Jean, Pierre, Louis, François.

Charles V.’s birth record has not been located, so it is unknown if this is the case, but it is certainly plausible.

Cape Cod Births

A search revealed four births recorded under the name“Ruth Paine” in Truro, dated 1723, 1736, 1759, 1783. It seems most likely that the one born in 1783, to James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine, could be our Ruth.

Ruth birth

James and Elizabeth were married 8 November 1764 in Truro.

james marriage

According to vital records, the Ruth Paine of Truro born to James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine in 1783 had the following siblings[1]:

  • John Cobb paine the Son of James and Elisabeth paine was Born in Truro august 17th : 1766
  • Ephraim paine Son of James and Elisabeth paine was born in truro April 18 1779
  • Asa paine Son of James and Elisabeth paine was born in truro march 15 1777
  • Betty paine the daufter of Jams and Elizabeth paine was borne in truro June ye 11 day in the yeare 1768
  • Jams paine the Sone of Jams and Elizabeth paine was Borne in truro June 18 in the yeare 1770
  • thomus Cobb paine the Sone of Jams and Elizabeth paine was borne in truro October ye 19 in the yeare 1772 these thre recorded by me Daniel paine town clerk
  • mary paine the daufter of Jams and Elizabeth paine was borne in truro may the 20 1775 and Recorded by Daniel paine town clerk [died 21 May 1777: http://www.capecodgravestones.com/truropixweb/pain77tr.html]
  • mary paine the Daufter of Jams and elizabeth paine was born in truro april the 20 1780 and Recorded by D p town clerk
  • Ruth pain Daughtr of James & Elisabeth pain was born at Truro ye 17 of Septembr 1783; baptism: 1783 November 23, Ruth daughter of James Paine.

The naming patterns of Ruth and Charles V Lansil’s children were similar to that of the Truro Paine families who descended from the Mayflower. A few of Ruth Paine of Truro’s siblings had their mother’s maiden name Cobb as a middle name – it would make sense that Ruth continued the practice, giving her children the middle name Paine.  The History of Penobscot County gives Ruth’s middle initial, likely provided by her son, as “C” which could possibly stand for Cobb.

As shown earlier, Ruth Lansil of Bangor named her children:

Thomas P., Mary P., Betsey, Charles V., Asa P., Ephraim P., and George W.; James P.

Ruth Paine of Truro had:

  • Two grandfathers named Thomas (Cobb and Paine)
  • Grandmother Mary (Vickery) and a sister Mary
  • Mother Elizabeth (Betsey)
  • Husband Charles V.
  • Brothers Asa and Ephraim; an Uncle Asa Cobb Paine who also named a child Ephraim
  • Father James
  • There were no Truro relatives named George W., however George Washington died in 1799 a few years before George W. of Bangor was born, he was perhaps named after our first president, which was quite common in that time period.

Other Records

There was a Ruth Paine who married Nathaniel Basset in Harwich on 4 Jul 1795, it is not plausible that this is the Ruth born 17 September 1783, as she would have been only eleven. No other Massachusetts marriages were located in the years between Ruth turning 16 in 1799 and 1804 (the latest date that the first child could have been born to Ruth Lansil).

There was no evidence that a Ruth Paine born to James and Elizabeth died unmarried.  Massachusetts records report deaths of:

- Ruth Paine daughter of Seth Paine and Rachel born 29 May 1808 and died 20 Oct 1809 in Harwichport.
– Ruth Paine daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Paine died 5 Oct 1800 in Wellfleet.
– Ruth Paine, age 90, died 23 Dec 1801 in Bridgewater, wife of Samuel (likely her maiden name was not Paine).
– Ruth Paine, age 26, died 15 Mar 1815 in Bellingham, wife of William (likely her maiden name was not Paine).
– Ruth Paine, age 60, died 30 Sep 1843, in Truro, wife of Elkenah, daughter of John and Hannah Avery.
– Ruth Paine, age 82, died 20 Apr 1854, in Blackstone, daughter of Jonathan Paine.
– Ruth S. Paine, age 20, died 27 Jul 1858, in Eastham, daughter of Seth and Rebecca.
– Ruth H Paine, age 80, died 11 May 1878, in Ashburnham, born Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
- Ruth T Paine, age 84, died 13 May 1881, in Weymouth, daughter of Levi.

James Paine, age 60 of Truro, likely Ruth’s father, died 10 Dec 1799 (he was born 14  July 1743, so the age at death is off slightly, but there were no other deaths found that might be our James).  This might explain her marrying at the age of 17, a man fifteen years her senior.  He may have been established and ready for a wife at a time when she was seeking stability.

James death


James grave


Cousin Ed asks: “Why would Ruth’s father James be buried with his sister-in-law?  Cheaper grave?  It’s a family plot in Pine Grove Cemetery.  Mary Paine (Vickery) and Asa (Jame’s brother) are right there also.  Spookiest cemetery I’ve been in”.


Based on historical accounts, death and census records, Ruth Lansil was of the right age to have been born in Truro, Massachusetts to James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine on 17 September 1783.  The History of Penobscot County supports a Truro birth, in the same time frame and a maiden name of Paine as reported by two sons, who seemingly had no reason to fabricate.  Additionally, Ruth’s son Asa’s death record reports a mother born in Truro.

An 1800 marriage of a John Lancelee /Lancle to Ruth Paine in Truro further supports this theory. It was typical for the French to have more than one name, usually christian, and Jean (John) was a common choice. No census, birth, death or other records have been uncovered to indicate there was a second couple John and Ruth Lancelee /Lancle residing in the United States after this date.

At least two of Ruth Lansil’s children, Charles V. and Betsey, report a birth in Chatham on Cape Cod, placing the family there in the early 1800’s.  Many Cape Cod families immigrated to Buckstown/Buscksport, Maine (about a third of the population in 18o0) making it plausible that the Lansil’s followed.

At least one son, Asa, was given the middle name Paine, others used the initial “P” (as written in the 1834 land deed, The History of Penobscot County and other census documents not listed here) which might stand for Paine. James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine’s sons John and Thomas were given the middle name Cobb; Ruth Lansil used a middle initial of “C”.  If Ruth’s mother passed her maiden name to her offspring, perhaps Ruth followed suit.  The names of Ruth Lansil’s children, although common, were  the same names found in Truro family of James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine.

Other vital records consulted reveal no evidence that the Ruth born to James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine married someone else or died unmarried.

On the off-chance that Ruth Lansil is not the daughter of James and Elizabeth (Cobb) Paine; given that she was found living on Cape Cod with a surname of Paine, it is still probable that she descends from Stephen Hopkins.  Paine is an old family name, on the Cape dating back to the 1600’s. Most everyone there in that time frame, descends from one or more Mayflower passengers.

“In the year 1644 The Court doth grant unto the church of New Plymouth or those that goe to dwell at Nausett all that tractt of land lying between sea & sea from the purchasers bounds at Namseakett to the hearing brooke att Billingsgate with the saide hearing brooke & all the Medows on both side the saide brooke with the greatt basse pond these & all the Medows & Islands lying within saide tractt. Nathaniel Morton,Secretary of the Court.” This grant came about as the result of the realization on the part of the church of Plymouth that it was situated on “one of the most barren parts of New England.” It was concluded that “the whole body of the church at Plymouth should not remove from Plymouth but liberty was given to those who so desired.” Consequently seven men became the first settlers in April 1644. They were Thomas PRINCE, John DOANE, Nicholas SNOW, Josias COOK, Richard HIGGINS, John SMALLEY and Edward BANGS. In 1651 the Colony Court decreed the town be known henceforth as Eastham. The surnames MAYO, CROSBY,FREEMAN, HARDING, ROGERS, GODFREY, BROWN, ATWOOD, SMITH, COLE, SPARROW, HOPKINS, COBB, CRISP, MYRICK, WALKER, TWINING, AKINS, YOUNG, KNOWLES, NEWCOMB, PAINE, COLLINS, LINNELL,PEPPER, NICKERSON, WITHERELL, DYER, WARD, HERD, HATCH, HORTON were added by the end of the 1600s along with several others”.


Yes, for those wondering, my application was accepted:  State of NH # 1200; General # 82,512

A 4-generation descendancy chart that I created for Ruth can be found here, please contact me with corrections (I do have information through 6/7 generations but have not included those details for privacy reasons, since many are living): Descendants of Ruth Paine 4 generation



On-line resources used:

Offline resources used:

  • Hammond Street Church record books found at the Hammond Street Church in Bangor and Bangor Public Library
  • Bangor Probate Court
  • Bangor Land Office

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