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

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




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.

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.

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’s whereabouts after 1880 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

52 Ancestors Week #29 – Update of “The Insane”

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.”


In week # 24, I wrote of Jane Catherine (Roberts) Lansil, my g-g-grandmother of Lanfairfechan, Wales: Week #24


The previous week #23, I had written of her husband, my g-g-grandfather Edwin Lansil: Week #23

b78d6966-0ac5-4c1b-b14a-fe25bce6d589 (1)

Both spent time and died in the Boston Insane Hospital. I was interested to know more. Asylum records are closed in Massachusetts forever. Yes, forever!  The state will release medical records if you (essentially) sue them or if you are named as the deceased’s estate administrator in probate court (assuming the deceased did not already have an estate that was settled through probate, which they did not). From William Bailey, Director of Privacy & Compliance, Department of Mental Health, 25 Staniford Street, Boston , MA 02114. (617) 626-8163 :

“Unfortunately, due to privacy law constraints imposed upon DMH by federal and state laws and regulations, including but not limited to so-called HIPAA laws, DMH can only release Protected Health Information [PHI] regarding its clients under very limited circumstances. DMH cannot even confirm whether an individual ever received DMH services unless those circumstances are satisfied.

For a deceased client or patient, DMH may only release records pursuant to a valid Court Order or upon written authorization from the client’s Executor or Administrator of the client’s estate. This is true even for very old records. Also, even if there was a Court Order or Probate Court authorization available, it is possible that any records from 1991 and prior (if they even existed in the first place) may have been lawfully destroyed. State regulations permit the destruction of impatient records older than twenty (20) years old.

Accordingly, we are unable to provide the information you requested. Although you may seek court authority, by Court Order or Probate appointment, to request those records, it is possible that such records did not exist or were lawfully destroyed. DMH is not permitted to advise you in advance of a Court Order or Probate appointment whether any records can be located”

The lawyer with whom I consulted, quoted $1,600 ($800 of which is the fee to file in probate court – $400 for each filing). Unless I go through the costly process to be named the estate administrator, it is illegal for the hospital who holds the records to look in their file cabinet (or boxes in the basement) to tell me if records exist!  Thus, a large expense that may reveal nothing.

I was hoping to gain further information through the Freedom of Information Act and had written several (to date, unanswered) letters to my State Representative, Dan Ryan. Bill Bailey did respond:

I respect the concern and frustration that you have articulated in your letter.  However, rest assured that the only legal way that DMH may release these records to you is upon receipt of a valid Court Order, or upon the authorization of a person duly appointed by a Probate Court as Administrator or Administrator.

Massachusetts state law specifically prohibits release of DMH medical records states (except in specific circumstances not present here), “notwithstanding any other provision of law.”   See Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 123, Section 36. 

Under the Freedom of Information Act and the state Public Records Law, DMH records are not “public records” and accordingly these laws do not serve as a basis for release. do not apply to “non-public records” in any event, and cannot be invoked to obtain otherwise protected private records.  Chapter 123, Section 36 specifically notes that DMH inpatient records “are private and not open to public inspection….”

In addition, the statute that you invoke, asking that the hospital treat you as Executor/Administrator, does not actually grant that authority.  Rather, on a very limited basis, it allows the hospital to liquidate estate assets as if the hospital were the Executor/Administrator (without ever becoming appointed by the Probate Court).  DMH does not have any authority to release records under this law, and most certainly does not have the ability to transfer its limited authority under this statute to third parties.  The ability to authorize release of records as the personal representative of a deceased client is limited to an appointment by the Probate Court.

DMH is bound by the current law; it cannot release records by any other means.  This may seem unfair or burdensome, especially for older records.  But the needs of our particular client population to always consult freely and openly with their mental health care providers — without fear that the sensitive nature of their histories and diagnoses might one day be revealed without their permission — has very practical relevance.

I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful in responding to your request.

I did find the Hospital’s asylum intake records on microfilm at the Family History Library (for $7.50, I ordered the films and had them delivered to NEHGS in Boston for viewing).

FHL insane

intake records

Edwin was admitted 20 Nov 1903 and remained there until his death 11 July 1904 of “Exhaustion of Senile Insanity”.

Jane Catherine was admitted 23 March 1907, no death is noted, as the record book only dates to 1907; her death certificate indicates that she died there, 25 years later on 30 May 1932.

Both were admitted through “Prob” (probate).

This confused me.  I had previously searched through the Suffolk County probate indexes and found nothing. I consulted with Rhonda McClure, at NEHGS, who suggested that they may be recorded in a different probate book vs. those referenced in the probate court indices and suggested I contact Elizabeth Bouvier, Head of Archives, MA Supreme Judicial Court, elizabeth.bouvier@sjc.state.ma.us.

Elizabeth’s initial response (within an hour of my inquiry), 3 July 2014 : “There are Suffolk County Probate Commitment records ; however, the index to the records was not located  as of 1986 when the records were moved from the Court to an offsite storage center.  The records are organized by case number and year. It may be awhile before you hear back from my office as to whether we can locate any records for your relatives”.

Two weeks later, 17 July 2014, Elizabeth emailed again: “For copies of the two records send $5.00 cash or check (payable: Commonwealth of MA) and a SASEnvelope sufficient to hold ten pieces of paper To: ARCHIVES, 3 Pemberton Sq., 16th Fl.  Boston, MA 02108-1701″

On Friday, 25 July 2014, the documents arrived! Shout out to Elizabeth and her team!  They are amazing!  This is the third time in the past several years that I asked for assistance and the third time that I have gotten almost instantaneous results!

Application for the Commitment for the Insane:
20 November 1903

White male, age 65, born Bangor, ME, occupation: surveyor, married.

He had no previous attacks; the present attack started one year ago, the attack was gradual and he has not previously been in an asylum.  His bodily condition is poor, likely due to an injury related to a fall in 1901.  The patient is “cleanly in dress and personal habits”.  

He is demented, restless, incoherent and destructive.  He had an insane father [wow! so Asa Paine Lansil was also insane at some point!].  His liquor, tobacco and opium habits are “good”.

Nearest relative: Wife, Jane C., 101 Maxwell St., Dorchester

Medical Certificate of Insanity: 
20 November 1903

He said: I [unable to read] as got into. He talked very incoherently.

he said

The patient: Ate flour with a knife – kept walking about handling things. He was not properly dressed.

 His appearance and manner was: demented, incoherent, destructive.

Other facts: He has been failing mentally for some time. He is very restless, confused and at times violent and destructive [did he hurt his wife and/or children?].

Jane Catherine
Application for the Commitment for the Insane:
23 March 1907

White female, age 44, born Wales, occupation: housework

She had one previous attack, the present attack began 2 weeks ago.

She was at the Boston Ins. Hospital July 26, 1897 [does not specify if this is an admittance or discharge date].

The present attack was gradual; her bodily condition is fair. It is unknown if she has had previous physical injuries. The patient is “cleanly in dress and personal habits”.  She is depressed, deluded, possibly suicidal. There is no prior known family history of insanity.  Her liquor, tobacco and opium habits are “good”.

Nearest relative: Daughter, Mrs. Edward J. Thompson, Hiawatha Road, Mattapan

Medical Certificate of Insanity: 
23 March 1907
The patient said: “I feel alright. I feel as well as I ever did. I thought people had been stealing from me. To-day is Wednesday.  I don’t play cards – no need of it. I don’t want you to feel my pulse! I ____ there is no need of ____” [couldn't read a few words].

The patient: Sat in chair; resisted being examined, hesitated in answering questions, and some questions would not answer at all. 

Her appearance and manner was: dull and confused. Untidy in appearance. Appears just as she did when insane before. 

Other facts: She was insane and a patient at Boston Insane Hospital in 1897. Since last August she has imagined people stealing from her. She was depressed and irritable. Has become worse the past few days. Is dull, confused, talks out of the window to people on the street. Sings at times and expresses various incoherent delusions. Obstinate and hard to manage.

So sad for their children.  Fanny was ten and Edith (my g-grandmother) only nine, the first time their mother entered the asylum in 1897.

Their father’s only sister was deceased; the girls resided with their father’s three bachelor brothers – Walter, Wilbur and Asa B.  Two of whom were traveling artists and another who was an alcoholic.  Their mother sisters were in Wales and Chicago. One grandmother was in Wales, the other deceased.

Florence May Bragg (b. 1868), their cousin who was taken in by the Lansil bachelor’s when their sister Francis Ellen “Fanny” (1841-1886) and her husband Carleton Sylvanus Bragg (1838-1880) died, seemingly the only woman in their lives, likely helped raise Fanny and Edith.


Jane Catherine lost two children, 9 month old Florence Paine in 1891 and Edwin Roberts at just 9 days old in 1894. Did it cause her depression/insanity?  Jane and Edwin’s youngest daughter Doris was born in 1899, two years after Jane’s was initially declared insane. Edwin died in 1903 when she was just four; Doris then lost her mother to “insanity” at age eight and was raised by her twenty year old sister Fanny.

Edmund may have had dementia and Jane Catherine schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or another type of mood disorder like clinical depression which today could be controlled by medication, offering her a normal life.

Photocopies of the documents:

2014-07-28 15.13.40 2014-07-28 15.14.10 2014-07-28 15.14.26 2014-07-28 15.14.34 2014-07-28 15.14.45 2014-07-28 15.14.52 2014-07-28 15.15.12 2014-07-28 15.15.25 2014-07-28 15.15.38 2014-07-28 15.15.45 2014-07-28 15.15.55 2014-07-28 15.16.01

52 Ancestors Week #28 – Using Consanguinity to Prove Parentage in the Roy Family

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.”

If you are a Roy/Roi/King cousin or other researcher, I would very much appreciate corrections and/or additions and would love family photos and stories.  This post covers only the children and grandchildren of Joseph Roy/Roi (King), but I am attempting to capture descendants through present day in my offline genealogy program. 

Special THANK YOU to Stephen White, Genealogist at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes for his work on piecing together so many Acadian families (http://www.umoncton.ca/umcm-ceaac/node/55); and Lucie LeBlanc Consentino who’s website and Facebook page has taught me so much of everything Acadian, she has also given permission to use some of her cemetery photos (http://www.acadian-home.org/) and last but not least the folks who instructed the French/French-Canadian week long course at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), 2011 (I attended to learn “how-to” research my husband’s French Canadians, without realizing I was 25% Acadian myself!, as my mother, (50% Acadian & 50% Lithuanian) was not raised by her biological parents.


In the beginning, I was a typical “newbie”….I took anything written on the internet as “fact” and copied “ancestors” in unsourced trees by the hundreds. My goal was to simply collect names back to Adam and Eve. Well, maybe not back that far, but you get my point.  I am slowly reviewing those additions to correct any errors and perhaps learn more of the lives and the times of these ancestors.

Today’s project:  To document the wives/children and grandchildren of my 3rd great grandfather Joseph Roy/Roi (King) and determine if François Roy/Roi (King) and Vénérande Savoie are his parents.




Let’s Start with the Marriages

My 3rd g-grandparents were Joseph Roy/Roi (King) and (Judith) Angélique Beliveau who were married on 13 November 1855 in Scoudouc, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada. The marriage record reads:

Scoudouc, Westmoreland N.B., St Jacques- le 13 Novembre 1855, après la publication ordinince des bans de mariage entre Joseph Roy veuf majeure de défunt Léger de Bouctouche d’una part, et Angelique Beliveau fille mineure de Amand Beliveau et de Natalie Bourgeois de la missons de Squédouc, d’autre part ne s’étant découvert aucun empêchement et __ le consentement des parents nous prêtre soussigné avons  reçu leur mutual consentement de mariage et leur avons donne la benediction nuptiale en presence de Joseph Maillet et de Euphamie Beliveau qui ainsi que les époux niut su signer.

Which translates to something like:

Scoudouc, Westmoreland N.B., St Jacques- the 13 November 1855, after the publication of banns of marriage ordinance­­ between Joseph Roy, of legal age, widower of deceased Léger of Bouctouche on the one part and Angelique Beliveau minor daughter of Amand Beliveau and Natalie Bourgeois of the mission of Scoudouc on the other part, having received no impediment and having ___ consent from the parents we priest undersigned have received their mutual consent of marriage and have given them the nuptial blessing in the presence of Joseph Maillet and of Euphamie Beliveau which together with the spouses sign this night.

joseph marriage 2

If Joseph was the “widower of deceased Léger of Bouctouche”, then their marriage and her death occurred prior to November 1855, likely in Bouctouche.

In the parish of St-Jean-Baptiste in Bouctouche, a Henriette Legere, 31 years old, spouse of Joseph Roi, died the “day before yesterday and was buried in the cemetery of this parish” on 23 April 1853.

This seems to be a good possibility for Joseph’s first wife.  A potential relative, Francois Roi, was present as mentioned in the entry.

Herietta death

Also in the parish of St-Jean-Baptiste, Bouctouche a marriage is recorded between Joseph Roi and Henriette Legere in 1847:

Le 2 fevrier 1847 apres après la publication ordinince des bans de mariage faite a nos  messes paroissiales entre Joseph Roi et Henriette Legere apres avoir accorde dispense du 3 au 3 et du 4 au 4me degre de consanguinite en vertue des facultes accordees a monseigneur William Dallard par un indulte du sd Octobre 1842 par le St. Siege Ad decennium ces dites facultes nous ayant ete accordies nous avons reçu leur  consentement mutual de mariage et leur avons donne la benediction nuptiale en presence de Francois Roi, Isaac LeBlanc

Which translates to something like:

On February 2, 1847 after after the publication of banns ordinance made ​​to our parish masses between Joseph Roi and Henrietta Legere after having granted dispensation from 3 to 3 and 4 to the 4th degree of consanguinity in virtue of the powers granted by a Monseigneur William Dallard indulte of October 1842 by the St. Siege Ad Decennium these faculties having been said we accordingly received consent mutual of their marriage and have given the nuptial benediction in the presence of  Francois Roi, Isaac LeBlanc

A Francois Roi, was again present.

Marriage1 joseph

Huh? “after having granted dispensation from 3 to 3 and 4 to the 4th degree of consanguinity”

So what is consanguinity?  Wikipedia defines it as ” the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person”.

The Catholic Church required couples to gain permission prior to marrying a relative, as the offspring of consanguineous relationships are at greater risk of certain genetic disorders and they considered marrying a close relative immoral.  The dispensation was granted for the degree of consanguinity without distinguishing between half and full siblings or “spiritual” relatives (i.e. if your father married a second wife who had her own offspring, then you were technically related to the second wife’s children from her first marriage and would require dispensation for the degree of affinity).

So it appears that Joseph Roy was related to his first wife in two ways:

  • 3 to 3 (third degree): i.e. second cousins, sharing great grandparents
  • 4 to 4 (fourth degree): i.e.  third cousins, sharing great, great grandparents

Noted Acadian researcher/genealogist Stephen A. White published La généalogie des trente-sept familles hôtesses des « Retrouvailles 94 » which can be found HERE.

He notes in the Leger genealogy:

JEAN LÉGER (à Joseph à Jacques à Jacques à Jacques), m (1) GENEVIÈVE CORMIER, their 9th child was:

Henriette, n Memramcook 25 fév 1821; m Bouctouche 2 fév 1847 Joseph ROY (François & Vénérande Savoie); d Bouctouche 21 avril 1853.

Using these two sets of “parents”, I identified at least one case of consanguinity:

The chart below (created using genealogical data from Stephen A. White’s La généalogie des trente-sept familles) shows the third degree of consanguinity (a common g-grandfather, Pierre-Jacques Leger).  Joseph’s maternal grandmother Marie Jumelle Leger and Henriette Legere’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Legere are half-siblings, both the child of Pierre Jacques Leger – Joseph by his wife Agathe Breau and Marie by his wife Marie Madeleine Haché.

Relationship_ Henriette Legere to Joseph Roy Roi
Joseph’s parents, François Roy/Roi (King) son of François Roy & Marie Leger and Vénérande Savoie daughter of Jean Savoie and Marie Allain were married in Richibucto in 1820 having been granted dispensation from [?] degree of consanguinity (unable to read the degree).
Roy Savoie marriage
On 24 May 1858, Joseph’s mother, Vénérande, age 59, was buried in Bouctouche.
sav death
On 27 April 1875, Joseph’s father Francois, age 78, was buried in Bouctouche.
frank death

Baptisms of known children

Joseph had twelve known children.  For ease, I numbered each child from 1-12 and included “their number” in any further discussion of their lives, with the exception of Libie (Lébée/Lybie ?) b. 1851 for whom no further information was located.  Although it should be noted, that Libie/Lébée/Lybie’s godparents were François Roy and Vénérande Savoie, strengthening the argument that there was a relationship with ‘her father Joseph, likely her grandparents.

The online Bouctouche parish registers are handwritten copies of the original; the photos included here are of the copies from the Drouin Collection available on Ancestry.com.  Father Alban Thibodeau who created the index of the Bouctouche records, found the original registers and there were errors in the transcription (I am hoping to obtain copies). This branch of Roy’s were baptized, married and buried in Bouctouche parish until the arrival of Ste-Marie’s (Mont-Carmel’s) first resident pastor in 1870.

(1) Cyrille –  Joseph’s son from his first marriage to Legere, baptized  20 November 184, St-Jean Parish  in Bouctouche.  Godparents were Jean Legere and Agnes Roi.

birth Cyrille

(2) Pierre – Joseph’s son from his first marriage to Legere, baptized 30 November 1849, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Pierre Hebert and Marie Roi.

birth Pierre

(3) Libie (Lébée/Lybie?)- Joseph’s daughter from his first marriage to Legere, baptized 28 Dec 1851, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche; godparents were François Roy and Vénérande Savoie (Joseph’s parents!)  It is possible that she died young, was adopted and/or the name “Libie” is a transcription error, as it is not a “typical” name of the place/time.

Libie birth

(4) Hippolite –  Joseph’s son from his first marriage to Legere, baptized 9 Feb 1853, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche; godparents were Louis Legere and Olive LeBlanc.  He was not living with the Roy family in any census year and was adopted by Eustache Poirier.

hippo birth

(5) Dosithee – Joseph’s son from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 30 July 1857, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Pacifique Belliveau and Agnes Roy.

Doscite birth

(6) Sifroi (Sigefroi/Sigefroy/Sigefroie)- Joseph’s son from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 12 November 1858, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparent was Charles Maillet.

Sifroi birth

(7) Henriette – Joseph’s daughter from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 2 December 1860, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Jean C. Maillet and Marraine Henriette Bastarache.

henriette birth daughter

(8) Sylvain – Joseph’s son from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 12 December 1861, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Sylvain Maillet and Marraine Jeanette LeBlanc. Joseph’s middle name is given as Francois.

Sylvain birth

(9) Cécile – Joseph’s daughter from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 4 June 1866, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Cyrille Roy and Cecile Allain.

Cecile birth

(10) Vital – Joseph’s son from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 30 March 1868, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Edouard and Marraine Genevieve Belliveau.  Note that his mother is recorded as “Julie”, this was the only record in the parish that was likely the correct baptism for Vital, perhaps Julie is in error and it was meant to be Judith. His marriage record names Judith as his mother, and when he travels to the US in 1916 he gives a contact in Canada as a brother Sylvain.

Vital birth

(11) Olivier, Joseph’s son from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 5 June 1870, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel. Godparents were _____ Maillet and _____ Richard.

Oliver bap

(12) Jude,  Joseph’s son from his second marriage to Belliveau, baptized 24 June 1873, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel. Godparents were Dosite Roy and Domtilda Cormier.

Jude baptism

The Census Data

The census data may further strengthen the theory of Joseph’s parentage.  A man named Frank (Francois?), of the age to be Joseph’s father, happens to live very close (or perhaps on the same farm) in 1861. A woman named Agnes Roy who is listed as a daughter to Frank in 1861 appears to be residing with Joseph’s two sons Cyrille and Pierre from his first marriage in 1871 and also with Cyrille in 1881.  Agnes Roy was named as godmother to Joseph’s sons Cyrille and Dosithee.

Joseph (1829-1913) settled in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent (Sainte-Marie), a Canadian village in Kent County, New Brunswick. Today located in the parish of Saint Mary, which was established in 1867 from part of Wellington Parish; the same year Canada officially become a country. The village is located about 28 miles north of Moncton on North side of the Buctouche River, 1.4 miles North East of Upper Bouctouche. Its residents are largely Acadian, most of whom speak French in its local variant Chaic.

St. Mary’s (LeBlanc, Emery. La vie à Saint-Marie.  c1984):

in 1871 it had a population of 100:

in 1898 St. Mary’s was a farming and fishing community with 1 post office, 4 stores, 1 cheese factory, 1 church and a population of about 1,000: included the community of Mount Carmel:

in 1904 Mount Carmel was a farming settlement with 1 post office, 4 stores, 2 churches and a population of 250:

Map st Mary


1851/1861 Canadian Census

The 1851 Canadian census for Kent County did not survive. By 1861, Joseph and his family resided in what was then Wellington Parish; they were Roman Catholic. He was listed as Joseph “junior”. Was the title “junior” an enumerator error?  Perhaps he meant to communicate that Joseph was the son of Francois Roy/Roi who resided nearby.  Joseph’s middle name is likely Francois [as written on his son Sylvain's baptism record], so perhaps he was a “junior”. It seems that many of his descendants were given a birth name Joseph and then used their middle name in every day life (common among many French Canadians).

Joseph, junior, age 31, farmer [my 3rd g-grandfather]
Angélique, age 29, wife
(1) Ceril, age 14, son [likely Joseph's son Cyrille from his first marriage to Legere, baptized  20 November 1847]
(2) Peter, age 12, son [likely Joseph's son Pierre from his first marriage to Legere, baptized 30 November 1849]
(5) Docité, age 4, son [my 2nd g-grandfather - Dosithee, baptized 30 July 1857] 
(6) Cephor, age 3, son [likely Sifroi, baptized 12 November 1858]
(7) Onriette, age 1, daughter [likely Henriette,  baptized 2 December 1860]

Next door (or perhaps on the same farm) are Joseph’s likely paternal relatives:

Frank, junior, age 63, widower, farmer [likely Joseph's father and the Francois mentioned in other records]
- Olive. age 39, daughter [likely Joseph's sister]
Onyez [Agnes ?], age 37, daughter [likely Joseph's sister]
– Frank, senior, age 92, lodger [likely Joseph's paternal grandfather]

1861 census

1871 Canadian Census

By 1871 the family is enumerated in the newly formed parish of Sainte-Marie (with four additional children).  The two eldest children are no longer residing with Joseph, nor are any members of the King/Roy family who were found in an adjoining home in 1861:

Joseph, 42, cultivateur (farmer), can not read or write
Angelique, 40, can not read or write
(5) Docitée, 13  
(6) Sigefroi,12
(7) Henriette,10
(8) Sylvain, 9 [baptized 12 December 1861]
(9) Cécile, 5 [baptized 4 June 1866]
(10) Vitál, 8 [likely baptized March 1868]
(11) Olivier, 10 months [baptized 5 June 1870]

1871 Canadian Census

In 1871, a Cyrille and Pierre Roy of the right age to be Joseph’s sons from the 1861 census, are residing together in Saint Marie with Agnes Roy [of the correct age to be the daughter living with Frank Roy in 1861, and potential sister of Joseph].

(1) Cyrille [Ceril ?], age 23, son [likely Joseph's son from his first marriage to Henriette Legere]
Agnes [Onyez ?], age 47,  [likely Joseph's sister]
(2) Pierre [Peter ?], age 12, son [likely Joseph's son from his first marriage to Henriette Legere]

1871 census 2

(4) Hyppolyte/Hippolite, according to his marriage record, was adopted by Eustache Poirier after his mother’s death.  In 1871, he was enumerated in the parish of Dundas, Grande-Digue as Hippolite Poirier with his adoptive parents.  Grande-Digue is located on Shediac Bay, 2.4 miles North Northeast of Shediac Bridge, Dundas Parish, Kent County. In 1871 Grande-Digue had a population of 400: in 1898 Grande-Digue was a farming and fishing settlement with 1 post office, 2 stores, 1 hotel, 1 church and a population of 300 (http://archives.gnb.ca/Exhibits/Communities/Details.aspx?culture=en-CA&community=1539).

Hippolyte 1871

(3) Libie/Lébée/Lybie is not found in any census.

(**) A widowed Frances Roi, of the correct age to be Joseph’s father was found in Wellington residing with the family of Joseph & Mary Ferware (enumerated as Jerway in 1861 an two census pages away from the Roy’s in Wellington), perhaps Fougere?  It seems likely that this the correct entry, but can’t be sure.

1871 Joseph

1881 Canadian Census

In 1881 the family continues to reside in the parish of Sainte-Marie (with one additional child):

Joseph, 52, cultivateur (farmer)
Angelique, 51
(8) Silvin [Sylvain], 19
(7) Aurietta [Henriette], 20
(9) Cecille [Cécile], 15
(10) Vitál, 13
(11) Olivier, 11
(12) Jude, 7 [baptized 24 June 1873]

(5) Docitée, 23 was listed as a widower and enumerated separately [the day after the remainder of the family was recorded, see margin notes], he may have resided  in the same home or next door.

1881 census

(1) Cyrille, his wife Genevieve, six children and Aunt Agnes Roy live nearby in Sainte-Marie.

cyrille 1881

(2) Pierre, his wife Madeline, and four children live in Sainte-Marie, two families away from Cyrille.

pierre 1881

(6) Sigefroi, 21, is married and living nearby, in Sainte-Marie, with his wife (name unreadable, likely Judeste), 22 and daughter [E]ugenie, 1

1881 census

(4) Hyppolyte/Hippolite resides in Moncton with his wife Marie Rose and two children; he is a farmer.  They are residing next door or possibly in the same home as Hyppolyte’s adoptive parents.

1881 hyppolite

 1891 Canadian Census

In 1891 some of the family continues to reside in the parish of Sainte-Marie:

Joseph, 61, alt
Angelique, 60
(11) Olivier, 20
(12) Jude, 16

Next door [or possibly on the same farm] is their son (6) Sylvain, 29, his wife Marie and their 5 children.

census 1891

(1) Cyrille, his wife Genevieve, ten children and Aunt Agnes Roy live nearby in Sainte-Marie.

cyrille census


(2) Pierre, his wife Madeline and seven children  live nearby in Sainte-Marie.

Pierre 1891

(5) Docitée, his wife Victorie and their three children live nearby in Sainte-Marie.

dosc census 1891


(9) Cécile is next door (or perhaps on the same farm) as her brother Docitée with her husband Jean Collet/Collette and two children.

1891 collette

(7) Henrietta was in Wellington with her husband Domicien LeBlanc and three children.

Henrietta 1891

(6) Sigefroi was living with his wife Adele and five children in Grande-Digue, Dundas Parish.

sig 1901

(4) Hippolite and (10) Vitál were not definitively identified in the 1891 census.

1901 Canadian Census (this census includes birth day, month and year)

In 1901 some of the family continues to reside in the parish of Sainte-Marie:

Joseph, 71, cultivator
Angelique, 69
(12) Jude, 27

Next door [or possibly on the same farm] is the family of their son (11) Olivier, 30, his wife Celeste and their five children.

1901 Joseph

(1) Cyrille, his second wife Barbe and ten children live nearby in Sainte-Marie; two teenagers named Octavia & Henriette LeBlanc reside with him, he names them as daughters [perhaps step-daughters ?].

cyrille 1901

Also in  Sainte-Marie is their son (8) Sylvain, 29 and his wife Marie and nine children.

1901 sylvain

(5) Docitée (enumerated as Doss King), his wife Victorie and their three children have relocated to Lancaster, Saint John, New Brunswick.

1901 Doss

(6) Sigefroi was living with his wife Adele and five children in Grande-Digue, Dundas Parish.

cyrille 1901

(9) Cécile was residing with her husband Jean/John D. Collet/Collette in Sainte-Marie with six children.

1901 Collette

(10) Vitál was residing nearby in the Parish of Wellington, with wife Margerite and four children.

vital 1901

(2) Pierre, (4) Hippolite  and (7) Henrietta were not definitively identified in the 1901 census.

1911 Canadian Census

Angelique, noted as a farmer’s wife, died on 13 March 1907 at age 77, the cause was “decline”, she had been ill “all winter”. She is likely buried in St Mary’s.

angeliques death



In 1911 a widowed Joseph, continues to reside in the parish of Sainte-Marie his son Docitée’s family and his widowed son Jude:

(5) Docitée, 53, cultivateur (farmer)
Victorie, 46
Pius, 24 [my g-grandfather]
Laura, 19 [my g-grandmother]
Joseph, 83, retired
(12) Jude, 47

1911 census Joseph

(1) Cyrille was also enumerated in St Mary’s with his second wife and several children.

Cyrille 1911

(2) Pierre resided in Dundas with his wife Madeline and two children.

Pierre 1911

(6) Sigefroi resided in Dundas with his wife and several children.

sigfroid 1911r

(8) Sylvain was enumerated in Moncton under the surname King at 7 Harper’s with his wife Marie, four children and three young boarders all using the surname King (likely relatives). Interestingly, his wife is listed as head of household and he is enumerated as “husband”.  The only death certificate located for a Sylvain Roy of the right age, gives his death as 1910 at St. Mary’s; he may be deceased but was somehow mistakenly enumerated, which would explain why his wife is listed as head of household.

Sylvian 1911

(11) Olivier was still in Ste Marie with his wife Celeste and eleven children. He was a farmer.

1911 oliver

(7) Hennrietta, (9) Cécile & (10) Vital were not definitively identified in the 1911 census. (4) Hippolite died 18 Jun 1911 in Grande-Digue; his family has not been located in the 1911 census.

1921 Canadian Census

Joseph died suddenly on 26 May 1913  of “old age” and is likely buried in St Mary’s; he was 84 and a retired farmer.

jos death 2

Joseph death

(1) Cyrille, again widowed, was enumerated in St Mary’s, his son Edouard’s family was residing in the same home. His son Fidele was close by or perhaps on the same farm.

Cyrille 1921

(5) Dosithee/Docite was not identified in the 1921 census likely because there were large portions of the Moncton census, where the enumerator did not capture resident names (he just wrote “Westmoreland” next to each).  He was likely at 70 Pearl St., Moncton, the address that he, his wife and son Edmond all list as their home address when they immigrated to the United States the following year.

(6) Sigefroi resided in Dundas with his wife and son Honore. Another son, Adolphe, resided nearby (possibly in the same home).

sigfroid 1911

(11) Olivier was found in Ste Marie with his wife Celeste and 7 children.

Olivier 1921 census

(2) Pierre and (4) Hippolite were deceased by 1921; (8) Sylvain may have also been deceasedtheir wives were not found in the 1921 census.

(7) Hennrietta, (9) Cécile, (10) Vital and (12) Jude  were not definitively identified in the 1921 census. Some of them may have been in Moncton (Sylvain was there in 1911), there were large portions of the Moncton census, where the enumerator did not capture resident names (he just wrote “Westmoreland” next to each entry). It is also possible that some of them were residing in Massachusetts.

Other Details on the Children’s Lives 

This section incomplete and likely has errors – seeking cousins to provide more details and corrections! – I have included a few supporting documents as thumbnails, “click” to see a larger version and have primarily used Ancestry.com, Archives.gnb.ca/ PANB), FamilySearch.org and as mentioned earlier, the work of Stephen White and Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.

(1) Cyrille, baptized  20 November 1847, became a farmer. Based on family birth/marriage/death records and census data from 1861 to 1921, it seems he resided his entire life in Ste Marie/St Mary’s. He married Genevieve Bastarache, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel on 5 Nov 1872.  He had thirteen known children, two of whom died within days of each other in Oct 1881 and another infant who died the same day as his wife.

Children with Genevieve included:

(a) Calixte baptized 13 Sept 1873, Ste Marie (Drouin Collection); m. Marie LeBlanc, daughter of Urbain Leblanc and Barbe Richard (NOT his step-mother), 10 Jan 1898; employed as a farmer; d. 16 Apr 1932, Ste Marie, age 58 of cancer (1881 & 1891 census, death on PANB);
(b) Marie Adeline baptized 1875 (date unreadable), Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection, 1881 & 1891 & 1901 census); m. abt. 1909 Jos Collett, son of Daniel (Drouin Collection).
(c) Melas(i)  baptized Mont-Carmel 1876 (Drouin Collection & 1881 & 1891 & 1901 census); m. Henrietta LeBlanc (death cert.); d. 1 Aug 1945, St. Cyrille, of heart complications age 69, 4 months (PANB);
(d) Fidele b. 4 Feb 1878, St. Mary (death cert., 1881 & 1891 & 1901 & 1911 census); m. first Octavia LeBlanc, daughter of Urbain LeBlanc and Barbe Richard (NOT his step-mother), 3 Nov 1902, Mont Carmel (PANB marriage); she died in 1948; m. second Arthemise LeBlanc, also a widower, daughter of Marc Leblanc and Osite Goguen, 11 Jun 1950, Dundas Parish (death cert. & PANB marriage); Fidele d. 27 May 1956, St Cyrille of pneumonia/hemiplegia (paralysis of the arm, leg, and trunk on the same side of the body) age 78, 2 months, 23 days (PANB) he is buried at Ste Marie with his first wife, Octavia  (http://www.acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/);

(e) Celestin baptized 5 July 1879, Mont-Carmel (birth from Drouin Collection, included in the 1881 census); buried 4 Oct 1881, Ste Marie (Drouin Collection);
(f) Marie Anne baptized 20 Sept 1880, Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection & 1881 census); buried 10 Oct 1881, Ste Marie (Drouin collection);
(g) Marie b. abt 1882 (1891 census, age 8);
(h) Donat baptized 5 Oct 1883, Mont-Carmel (birth from Drouin Collection, 1891 & 1901 & 1911 census), m. Marie Alice Collet/Collette, daughter of Domin Collette and Helene Bourque, 19 Aug 1912 at St Mary’s, he was a 29 year old farmer (PANB marriage); buried St. Marie 1965 with his wife Alice b. 1893 d. 1977 (http://acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/).

(i) Alphee/Alphie b. 21 April 1885, Ste Marie (1918 WWI attestation papers); baptized 2 May 1885, Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection, 1891 & 1901 & 1911 census); in 1918 he was residing in Bangor, Maine and is single. Occupation is Woodman (1918 WWI attestation papers);
(j) Elizabeth b. 1887 St. Mary’s (1891 & 1901 census); m. Maxime LeBlanc son of Germaine LeBlanc and Delphine abt 1908.
(k) Madeline b. 3 June 1888, St. Mary’s (PANB birth & 1891 & 1901 & 1911 census);
(l) Edouard  b. 15 Oct 1889, St. Mary’s (PANB birth & 1891 & 1901 & 1911 & 1921 census); m. Mathilda LeBlanc daughter of Camille LeBlanc and Marie Belliveau on 30 Aug 1915 in Bouctouche (PANB).
(m) Antoine buried 27 Apr 1892, he was baptized 28 April 1892 in Mont-Carmel.  The death record, in French, seems to indicate that he was age 4 months.

Genevieve was buried 27 Apr 1892, age 41; the same day as her infant son (possibly from complications related to childbirth).  Cyrille at age 52, married second Barbe Richard, also a widow, daughter of Joseph Richard and Josephine Cormier, on 5 Nov 1894, at Ste Marie. They had no known children together. She died of heart disease on 7 Oct 1915 at age 69 (PANB) and is buried at Ste Marie (http://acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/).

gen bass

Cyrille may have died on 8 February 1927.  A gravestone with that date, in Ste Marie lists his correct age of about 79  (http://acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/).  The death certificate names a different mother (Victorie Richard) and an age of 84. Perhaps the informant, his son Calixte, made a mistake. His burial record has not been located in the Drouin Collection. There was a second Cyrille Roy born in the same place in the same time frame, son of Joseph Roy and Pelagie LeBlanc, who married Agnes Nowlan, and died in 1884 (Drouin Collection), so the gravestone/death certificate  is likely not his.

Cyrille marriagesdeath genevivecyrille death 1927cyrille death 1927

(2) Pierre, baptized 30 November 1849 in Bouctouche, resided in Ste. Marie through at least 1891 (based on census data). He was not found in the 1901 census.  By 1911 he and his family had moved to Dundas parish (Cocagne).

It is likely that he married Madeline Bastarache on 29 May 1873 at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel after being granted dispensation for the 3rd degree of consanguinity.  The parents are not named on the marriage record, however they did have a son name Joseph Francois Roy and other children with similar Roy family, given names.  This particular Pierre was enumerated two families after Cyrille Roy, in the 1881 census. This Pierre’s death certificate in Cocagne, lists a Bouctouche birth, the same location where our Pierre, of the same age, was baptized.

Known children number twelve or thirteen:
(a) Maxime, b. 28 Oct 1874, Buctouche or Ste Marie (marriage & death cert., 1881, 1891 census); m. Emilienn Daigle, a widow, daughter of Camille Daigle and the late Marie Bastarache, on 21 Nov 1910 in the Parish of Dundas/Cocagne; Maxime in 1910 is a laborer of New Bedford, Massachusetts (PANB); d. 8 Mar 1856 in Cocagne of coronary artery disease, age 82, 4 months (PANB).
(b) Suzanne, b. 1877  (1881, 1891 census, PANB marriage) m. 19 Nov 1912 Clovis Leger of Grande-Digue, son of  Aman Leger and Suzanne Cormier, she was of Cocagne;
(c) Hippolyte, baptized 10 April 1878, in Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection, 1881 census); d. 24 May 1882 in Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection).
(d) Joseph Francois, b. 30 Mar 1880, Ste Marie (1881, 1891 census); m. Arthemise Leblanc (PANB death cert.);  d. 26 Feb 1949 in Cocagne (PANB)
(e) Guillerme (Willie), b. 1882 Ste Marie (1891 census); m. first 9 Aug 1910, Ida Babineau, daughter of Urbain Babineau and Suzanne Despres in Grande-Digue (PANB); widowed; m. second Marguerite, daughter of Placide Landry and Julie Legere, 28 Nov 1931, residence Cocagne, he is a farmer (PANB).
(f) Amedee, b. 1884, Bouctouche (1891 census); m. 20 Sept 1909, Magdeline Martin, resident of New Bedford, Massachusetts, born at St. Mary’s; she was the daughter of Felicien Martin and Genevieve Allain.  He is a laborer residing in Cocagne (PANB).
(g) Irene (?), b. 1886 (1891 census, male);
(h) Marie Vitaline, baptized April 1887, Mont Carmel (Drouin Collection, 1891 census); d. 17 Oct 1903, 16 year old farmer’s daughter, Bouctouche, of consumption (Drouin Collection).
(i) Joseph Edmond b. 18 Oct 1889, St Marys (1891 census, PANB birth);
(j) Marie Elizabeth, b. 23 May 1891, St Marys (PANB birth);
(k) Marie Ann, b. 16 Dec 1892, St Marys (PANB birth);
(l) Joseph Alban, b. 1 May 1893, St Marys (1911 census, PANB birth);
(m) Alfred b. April 1898 (1911 census); [same child as #14? births are a month apart? or typo on birth year?]
(n) Joseph Francois, b. 16 Mar 1898, Buctouche (PANB birth)

Pierre died 9 Oct 1912 in Cocagne, after an illness of 15 days, of pneumonia. He was a 62 year old farmer. Madeline died 12 Oct 1924 in Cocagne, she was 70; her daughter Suzanne also of Cocagne, was the informant. Madeline’s death record indicates she was born to Thaddee Bastarache and Suzanne Cormier.

pierre marriagePierre death82483841-bfb0-432b-aa5c-519ea21d2d55


(4) Hyppolyte/Hippolite, baptized 9 Feb 1853, was not found with the Roy family in any census, his mother died when he was an infant, and he was adopted and raised by Eustache Poirier [see marriage record] and his wife Cecile Legere (daughter of Simon Legere and Marie-Rose Arsenault and his mother’s biological cousin).  He resided with them in 1871 in Grande-Digue and was enumerated as Hyppolyte Poirier. It is unknown whether he had a relationship with his biological family, nonetheless, with the exception of this census, all records seem to indicate that he used the Roy surname for his lifetime.

He married Marie Rose Richard Jun 1876, in Grande-Digue, daughter of Hubert Richard and Marie Poirer. By 1881 they were residing in Moncton and Hyppolyte was a farmer. The family was not found in 1891, 1901 or 1911 Canadian censuses but were likely residing in Grande-Digue based on the children’s baptism records.

Known children include:
(a) William (Willie)/Guillaume, baptized 6 June 1877, Grande-Digue (Drouin Collection, 1881 census); m. Agnes Caissie, daughter of Theotime Caissie  and Marie Caissie on 19 Jun 1899, Grande-Digue (Drouin Collection);
(b) Marie Elizabeth baptized 28 February 1881, Grande-Digue (Drouin Collection, 1881 census); d. 1896, Grande-Digue (Drouin Collection);
(c) Joseph Pierre, baptized 27 June 1883, Grande-Digue (Drouin Collection);
(d) Joseph Henri, baptized 14 May 1885, Grande-Digue (Drouin Collection); m. Demerise Bourque of Scoudouc; at the time of their marriage, he was a resident of Moncton working as a carpenter. About 1917, he relocated to Lynn, Massachusetts (according to his border crossing paperwork in 1922). In 1937 he resided in Lynn, Massachusetts (sister Leonie and Marguerite’s obituaries).
(e) Marie Philomene, baptized 27 July 1887, Grande-Digue (Drouin Collection);
(f) Marie Marguerite, b. 24 Nov 1891,  Grande-Digue (PANB); m. Henri Gallant in Grande-Digue son of Joseph and Julie (Drouin Collection); d. Jan 1937 in Grande-Digue (Evangeline obituary); her death causes a great void.

Marguerite roy death
(g) Marie Florine, b. 13 Feb 1898, Grande-Digue (PANB); he visited her brother Henri in the United States, 29 Dec 1922 (Manifest Cards of Alien Arrivals at Vanceboro, Maine). in 1937 resided in Newburyport, Massachusetts (sister Leonie and Marguerite’s obituaries).
(h) Marie Leonie, b. 12 Nov 1899,  Grande-Digue (PANB); m. Dominique Thibodeau, and resided in Rogerville, Northumberland, New Brunswick. She visited her brother Henri in the United States, 29 Dec 1922 (Manifest Cards of Alien Arrivals at Vanceboro, Maine). She died 4 Nov 1937 (Evangeline obituary), age 45, after a two month illness of Typhoid Fever, she never complained.  She was a good person, a friend to everyone who needed her.

Leonie death

Hyppolyte died 18 June 1911, at the age of 60 [he was actually 58?], in Grande-Digue of “brain trouble” and pneumonia after being sick for a week.

865dd4a0-9386-46d3-810e-5893a7c2ac01 (1)hypolete marriage

(5) Dosithee/Docite, baptized 30 July 1857 (my 2nd g-grandfather), became a farmer. He married first, on 2 Feb 1880, at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel, Genevieve Cormier daughter of the deceased Aimé Cormier and deceased Henriette Roy after being granted dispensation for the 4th degree of double consanguinity. She died six months later, at age 19, on 24 Aug 1880 and was buried 27 Aug at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel.

On 12 May 1885, he married second,  Victorie LeBlanc, at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel, daughter of George LeBlanc and Madeline LeBlanc.   Known children included:

(a) Pius/Paul Dost (my g-grandfather) b. 9 Jul 1886 Ste. Marie (US draft registration), m. 25 Dec 1910, Laura Marie Melanson, daughter of Maglorie Melanson and Osite/Ausithe Dupuis in Gardner, Massachusetts (Massachusetts Vital Records);  Pius was in the US from 1904-1910; he and his wife moved back to New Brunswick until 1914 when they returned to Massachusetts permanently; in 1921 he was a chair maker later in life he became a welder/drill washer; he was known as “Pepe”, his granddaughter recalls that he did maple sugaring; he moved from Gardner to a farm in Athol about 1947; Another granddaughter recalls, “Pepe was an alcoholic who made his own home brew, and rarely was able to work.  Laura had a very sad life, she raised their children close to abject poverty. She basically ran the small family furniture business. Leo, her next to youngest child, was caught in their apartment building fire, and was severely burned. Laura cared for him until he died about eight days later”.

Pius died 9 Aug 1954 in Athol, Massachusetts; his granddaughter recalls “one night a cow got out and Pepe and my Dad spent a rainy night looking for it, Pepe, who continued to drink heavily became Sick and died shortly after”.

Laura relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1955 to live with her daughter Alida’s family; her other children didn’t seem to have much contact, nor did they assist financially. “Meme” (Laura) had really, really long hair that she washed in a rain barrel and braided daily, but she cut it short upon her arrival in Florida. She had no friends there, did not drive and became very isolated.  Her only outlets were church and a weekly bingo game. Her granddaughter recalls: “She was never a physically demonstrative person but showed her love by baking our favorite treats. I remember opening the door from school to the smell of warm pies and bread. She always made me a tiny pie all to myself.  She collapsed one day from abdominal pain. Dad and Mom rushed her to the hospital. She died a few hours later from abdominal cancer. The doctors said she must have been in awful pain but never let on. I still miss her.”

Laura died 3 November 1968.  She is buried with her husband at Gethsemane Cemetery in Athol. Their eight known children were – (1) Leo, (2) Yvonne Marie (my grandmother, who married Charles Billings of Lithuanian descent), (3) Joseph Maglorie, (4) Melisse “Nelsey”, (5) Lena, (6) Edmund Sylvio, (7) Alfred and (8) Alida; Sadly, three of their children Alfred, Yvonne and Lena became alcoholics like Pepe.

Paul Pius Roy
(b) Marie Albina b. 10 July 1888, St. Mary’s; d. 13 April 1899, St. Mary’s, of consumption, age 10, she was ill for 18 months (PANB & listed 1891 census);
(c) Mathilda b. 3 Aug 1890, St. Mary’s (1891 & 1901 census);  m. Cyrille Allain, son of Melen Allain and Marie Blanche LeBlanc, on 7 Jun 1910 in Gardner, Massachusetts, she was a “shop girl” he was a carpenter; they returned to St Mary at least from 1911 to 1913 (3 children born), then according to boarder crossing paperwork, resided in the US from 1917 to at least 1921 (they were not found in the 1920 census or US city directories); at some point they returned to Canada as Mathilda was living in St Antoine, Canada in 1954 (brother Pius’ obituary), Cyrille, a farmer, died 5 Jun 1956, age 76,  from cancer of the pancreas; she died 1972 and is buried in Kent County, St-Antoine  New Cemetery; known children include –  (i) Joseph Benoni b. 17 Mar 1911, St Mary’s; (ii) Marie Elise b. 29 Feb 1912, St Mary’s; (iii) Marie Albina b. 19 May 1913, St Mary’s

mathilda grave
(d) Marie Emma b. 25 Dec 1892, St Mary’s (1901 census);
(e) Aurelie b. 27 Jul 1896, St Mary’s (PANB birth, not with the family in the 1901 census, likely died young);
(f) Diendonné/Joseph Hector b. 3 Sep 1898, St Mary’s; d. as infant 20 Apr 1899, of Grippe, at St Mary’s (PANB);
(g) Edmond Doss b. 20 Aug 1902, St Mary’s; 1954 was living Moncton (1911 census & brother Pius’ obituary) and in Feb 1967 he filed for a delayed birth certificate for himself in Moncton;
(h) Joseph Diendonné b. 17 May 1906, St Mary’s (not included in the 1911 census); likely died 2 Sep 1909, St Mary’s, of Measles, he was sick for 2 months (PANB)

Dosithee/Docite continued working as a farmer, until sometime prior to 1901 when he took a job as a Millman in Lancaster, St. John, New Brunswick (where they seem to use the surname King). In 1901 he was employed at the factory for five months and reported an income of $50. In 1902, Edmond Doss’s birth record (created in 1967) claims he was born in Randolph (a neighborhood in the West Side o Lancaster which in 1967 became known as St John West) his father was a mill ride.

At some point, before 1922, the family relocated to Moncton.

Dosithee/Docite, at age 63 was described as 5’7″, 135 pounds and having a fair complexion, gray hair and blue eyes and could not read or write , when he immigrated “permanently” to Gardner, Massachusetts from Moncton in May 1923. Family members who previously immigrated to Gardner included his wife Victorie (admitted 9 Dec 1922; described as 5’6″, medium complexion, brown hair and eyes; her visit to Gardner was to be less than six months; her address was 70 Pearl St., Moncton) , son Pius/Paul (in the US from 1904-1910; 1915 to 21 May 1921 and returning 23 May 1921 to 244 Parker St. Gardner – he was 5’5″ with a dark complexion, black hair, brown eyes) and son Edmond (admitted 18 July 1922; with an address of 70 Pearl St. Moncton; contact brother Paul, 244 Parker St, Gardner, MA and planning a visit for less than six months, described as 5’5″, light complexion, brown hair green eyes).  It was Dosithee/Docite’s first visit to the United States.

Dosithee/Docite and Victoria are listed in the 1924 Gardner city directory (he is a clerk).  Many other Roy’s are listed nearby, including sons Pius and Edmond. He was not found in other online city directories, including the 1926 Gardner directory.

1924 city directories

Dosithee/Docite and Victorie ultimately returned to New Brunswick where they died and are buried. On 16 Nov 1932, his death at age 75 of lobar pneumonia, with a contributing factor of old age, is recorded at Ste Marie.  Her death of “old age” was reported  at Ste Marie on 25 Sept 1934. She was 70.

Docite marriage 1st death genevieveDocite marriage

doss to USdoss deathvictorie death

(6) Sigefroi (Sigefroie/Sigefroy), baptized 12 November 1858,  became a farmer. He first married Judule Landry, 26 Nov 1877, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel after being granted dispensation for the 4th degree of consanguinity. Neither set of parents are named, however Sigefroi’s brother Docite Roy was a witness. She was likely the daughter of Maxime Landry and Suzanne Roy/Roi (she is listed as their daughter in the 1871 census, she was age 16; they were also named as parents of her then 18 year old brother David, in his baptism record, in the Drouin Collection).

They had at least two children:
(a) Eugenie baptized 2 Aug 1880 in Mont-Carmel (1881 census, Drouin Collection), likely died young, since Sigefroi had a second child who was given the same name in 1889;
(b) Donat born 3 May 1881 (death cert.) and baptized 27 July 1881,  in Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection, 1891, 1901, 1911 census); m. when he was 37 year old bachelor, Lucille Robichaud, daughter of Placide Robichaud and Brigitte Guimont, 4 Mar 1919 in Pointe-Sapin  (PANB); d. 13 May 1947, age 66, 1 month in Pointe-Sapin; his son Alfred was the informant (PANB).

Sigefroi was not described as a widow when he married his second wife and no death record was located for Judule. Her whereabouts are unknown but she likely died as Donat appeared to reside with his father.

He married second, on 5 Jun 1887, Marie LeBlanc daughter of Laurent LeBlanc and Marie Legere at Memramcook, Parish of St. Thomas. In 1891 he was a farmer residing in  Grande-Digue, parish of Dundas, Kent, New Brunswick.  There was an 83 year old Thadee LeBlanc residing with the family, perhaps a relation to his wife. They spent a few years in Taunton, Massachusetts where Sigefroi was employed as an Operative (at least 1895-97 when two children were born).

Some of  their children are known.
(c) Adolphe b. 1888 (1891, 1901 census, lives next door to his parents in Grande-Digue, in 1911); married Marie ___  (1911 census)
(d) Marie Eugenie b. 1889 (1891, 1901 census); m. David Bourque and resided in Gardner, Massachusetts in 1920 near her uncle Docitée Roy;
(e) Joseph Alfred b. 1892;
(f) Honore b. 1893 in Grande-Digue (1901, 1911, 1921 census); he visited his sister Mrs. David Borque at 147 Mechanic St., Gardner, Massachusetts in Nov 1920, he planned to stay less than 6 months (he had returned to Canada by the time the Jun 1921 census was taken). He had $100 and declared himself as single, age 27, working as a farm laborer. He had visited Gardner previously in 1915/6.  On arrival in 1920 he was diagnosed with “Angioma of the Scalp” ( little, bright red, pinpoint to match head sized, flat spots that over time, become raised, more dome shaped and actually begin to look like a cherry. They are benign).
(g) Marie Sarah Elmire b. 14 Apr 1895, Taunton, Massachusetts (Massachusetts vital records);
(h) Edmond b. 13 Feb 1896, Taunton, Massachusetts (Massachusetts vital records, 1901, 1911 census). His Canadian WWI draft recruitment papers, dated 1918, describe him as age 22,  5’4″, medium complexion, brown eyes and hair. He is a single farmer residing in Grand-Digue.

After Marie died (before 1901), he resided in Grande-Digue, with his third wife Adele Cormier of Cocagne (parents and marriage year unknown; he was noted a widower). They had no known children.

He became a Day Carpenter. He died at the age of 68 on 15 Feb 1926. Cause of death “me syncope mort inhibite pas de medium”, syncope is defined as the brief loss of consciousness caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain. He is buried at Grande-Digue Notre-Dame de la Visitation. His wife, Adele died in Shediac, 20 February 1930 at age 74.

sig marriage 1sigs marriagehonore marriagemarriage one sigfroi


b9ce5fa1-1630-4a5e-9bda-849f29c885f9sig death14ae1159-ca16-48ec-b515-f7abb703be40DSC06737

(7) Henriette, baptized 2 December 1860, married Domicien LeBlanc (the widower of Genevieve Cormier and son of Jean LeBlanc and Madeline Brault of Cocagne St-Pierre) on 9 Aug 1886 in Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel.  Her known children are:
(a) Rose-Anne, b. about 1887 (1891 census); m. 5 April 1919, Philippe Cormier, son of Louis Corier and Elizabeth Cormier, giving her residence as Cocagne and names Henriette and Domicien as parents.
(b) Sara b. 27 Oct 1888, St Mary’s (PANB);
(c) Vital b. 26 Aug 1890, Bouctouche (PANB);  m. 19 Feb 1917 Marie Anne Bastarache, daughter of Dominique Bastarache and Dina LeBlanc, Moncton (http://www.acadian-roots.com/ – microfilm #1900-1 at the CEA genealogy center);
(d) Maria Elisa b. 15 Jan 1892 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XTSV-KXK); likely married in Mont-Carmel, 5 Feb 1912, Alyre Bastarache, son of Dominique Bastarache and Dina LeBlanc (PANB); by 1932 they were residing in Moncton (her mother’s death cert).

The family was not found in the 1901, 1911 or 1921 Canadian censuses so there were likely additional children.

Henriette died at the age of 72 on 22 January 1932, cause of death was probably apoplexy (unconsciousness or incapacity resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke). She was a retired housewife and had been residing at 33 Harper’s Lane in Moncton, Canada for four months (the same address as her son-in-law Alyre Bastarache) and claims that she lived in New Brunswick her entire life.  She was buried in Moncton at the Shediac Road. Her husband’s death record has not been located.

henrietta marriageHenriette deathRoseanne marriage

(8) Sylvain, baptized 12 December 1861, married Marie Maillet, daughter of Calixte Maillet and Suzanne Richard at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel on 10 April 1881.

They had 13 known children (including a set of triplets!):
(a) Addelle b. 1883 (1891, 1901 census);
(b) Henriette b, 1884 Mont Carmel (1891, 1901 census, marriage record gives birth location); m. 9 Jan 1911, Levi Robichaud son of the late Aime Robichaud and Onsite Cormier, both were of St. Anthony (PANB); in 1911 the are residing in St Antoine, Kent, New Brunswick (1911 census).
(c) Zèlie b. 1886 (1891, 1901 census); likely died at age 19 of fever, 1906 in Moncton (PANB);
(d) Jean b. 26 Mar 1888, St Mary’s (PANB birth, 1891, 1901 census);
(e) Marie Azelda b. 15 Dec 1889, St. Mary’s (PANB birth, 1891, 1901 census);
(f) Susan b. 18 May 1891, St Mary’s (PANB birth);
(g,h,i) triplets – J, MC & M b. 22 May 1892, St Mary’s  (PANB); likely died as they are not included in any census;
(j) Madélaine b. 26 July 1893, St Mary’s (PANB birth, 1901 & 1911 census); m. 9 Nov 1914 Jean Alfred, son of Hubert Richard & Delphine Richard (http://www.acadian-roots.com/marriages-catherale.html);
(k) Alpheé b. 20 Mar 1895, St Mary’s (PANB birth, 1901 & 1911 census), m. Yvonne, daughter of Urbain Babineau and Euphemie Goguen 26 April 1919 in Moncton (PANB);
(l) Calixte b. 7 Dec 1896 (or 7 Sep 1896), St Mary’s (PANB birth, 1901 & 1911 census); m. 7 July 1914, Rosalie Cormier, daughter of Auguste Cormier and Julie LeBlanc in Moncton (PANB); Rosalie died 14 Dec 1915, in Bouctouche at age 23, of Meningitis after being sick for 13 days (PANB); Calixte, a soldier, married second, in 1917, Herminie “Minnie” Leblanc, daughter of Felicien LeBlanc and Matilde Leger (Drouin Collection); Calixte and Minnie likely immigrated to the United States through Vanceboro, Maine, on 7 Sept 1917 (certificate of lawful entry, Ancestry.com); in 1930 Calixte and Minnie were residing on Parker street in Gardner, Massachusetts with a niece, by 1940 he was still in Gardner but listed as widow (1930/40 census), her death record has not been located; in 1941, he married third Elizabeth Ann Leblanc, parents unknown, in Gardner, Massachusetts (Ancestry.com, Massachusetts marriage index vol 59, pg 152); in 1942 he resided at 188 Parker Street, Gardner with Elizabeth and worked for Heywood Wakefield (1942 WWII draft, Ancestry.com);  in 1942 he was described as 5’6″, having blue eyes, brown hair and was partially bald with a scar on his left arm; (certificate of lawful entry Ancestry.com); d. 1967, and is buried in Bouchtouche, St-Jean Baptiste, with his wife Elizabette Anne b. 1895 – d. 1973 (gravestone photo below).
(m) Guillaume/William b.1901 (1901 & 1911 census).

There was a Sylvain Roy, a farmer, died 27 Aug 1910, at St Mary’s from cancer after an 18 month illness; he was 49 (PANB).

By 1911, Sylvain’s wife and the four youngest children had relocated to Moncton and were enumerated under the surname King. Marie is listed as head of household and Sylvain is listed as “husband”.  It is unclear if the Sylvain that died at St. Mary’s was the same person.

The family was not found in the 1921 Canadian Census.  No death record has been located for Marie Maillet.

sylvain marriagecalixte burial

(9) Cécile, baptized 4 June 1866, married on 24 April 1885 Jean/John Collet (Collette), son of Daniel Collet and the deceased Gertrude Allain at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel after being granted dispensation for the 4th degree of consanguinity.

She had eleven known children:
(a) Calixte b. 1886 (1891 & 1901 census);
(b) Adolphe 7 April 1888, St. Mary’s (PANB); may have died young as another child was given this name in 1896 and he is not listed in any census;
(c) Angeline b. 8 April 1889 , St. Mary’s (PANB, 1891 & 1901 census);
(d) Marie Elda b. 22 Mar 1891, St. Mary’s (PANB); may have died young, not included in the 1901 census with the family;
(e) Joseph Delphis b. 18 June 1894, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1901 census); in 1916, at age 21, he was residing in Moncton, working as a clerk (Canadian WWI attestation papers) ; on 27 April 1920, he departed St John, for a visit to the United States;  point of contact was his sister Mrs. M. LeBlanc of 192 Collette St., New Bedford, Massachusetts; his immigration paperwork claimed he would be in the country less than six months; it stated that he enlisted in the military 9 Feb 1916 in Moncton and was discharged 10 Mar 1919, he was single working as a store clerk; in 1921 he married Marv Alma Houde in Gardner, Massachusetts (Massachusetts Marriage Index, vol 20, pg 475); in 1930 & 1940, he was enumerated in Gardner with his wife Alma and children; by 1942 he resided at 137 Connors, Gardner, with his wife Alma and was employed by Heywood Wakefield furniture, Gardner; he was 5’9″, 148 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and dark complexion (WWII draft registration); he died in 1949 in Gardner (Massachusetts Death Index, vol 46, pg 231);
(f) Joseph Adolphe b. 1 July 1896, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1901 census); m. 19 Sep 1935, Florence Surette, daughter of Frank Surette and Georgina Donelle, he was a Marchand (Merchant/Dealer/Seller) residing in Bouctouche (PANB); d. 1979 and is buried at Chartersville; the grave inscription reads: “COLLETTE Adolphe 1896-1979 wife Florence Surette 1913-1973 son Leo Paul 1935-2003″ (http://www.acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/);

(g) Daniel b. 14 Dec 1898, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1901 census); m. 30 Sept 1919, Marie Emma Goguen, daughter of Levi Goguen and Veronique Arsenault, on the date of the marriage, Daniel was a day laborer residing in Bouctouche (PANB); “Emma Goguen was the daughter of Levi Goguen and Veronique Arsenault. She passed away November 3 1999 at the age of 99 (ninety nine) at the Saint Jean Baptiste home in Bouctouche. She married twice first to Daniel Collette and second to Emile Babineau. She leaves to mourn her six daughters; Louise Fournell of Quebec, Aldea Adames and Marie Busse of Moncon, Hermilie Brune, Fernande Couture and Cecile Francis of Bouctouche, one son John of Bouctouche along with 33 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren, and five great great grandchildren. She was predeceased by five sons, Gerald, Aime, Donald and two infants. Also predeceased by three brothers Clifford, Edmond and Fidele. Funeral held in St Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in Bouctouche, interment in the parish cemetery”.(Acadie Nouvelle November 1999);
(h) Pius b. 1901 (visited and may have resided in Gardner for a time); m. 26 July 1928, Marie Scolastie Roy daughter of John Roy and Agelie LeBlanc, at the time of the marriage he was a commerçante (retailer/businessman) living in Bouctouche (PANB);
(i) Marie Azilda b. 3 Sept 1903, Mount Carmel (PANB); likely married Leo Arthur Bergeron in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1926 (Massachusetts Marriage Index, Vol 37, Page 188); resided in Gardner 1930; d. 23 Sep 1970, New Bedford (SSDI & Massachusetts Death Index);
(j) Maria Regina b. 11 Feb 1906, Bouctouche (PANB); m. Odilon Cormier son of Melase Cormier and Euphremie LeBlanc, 21 May 1925; the marriage was registered at Wellington and both parties were residents of Bouctouche (PANB); d. May 1971 and is buried at Bouctouche, St Jean Baptiste (http://www.acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/);

(k) Exilda b. 1 Oct 1907, Bouctouche (PANB);

Cécile and her family were not located in the 1911 or 1921 Canadian census.

Cécile and her husband are buried at the Saint Jean Baptiste Roman Catholic Cemetery in Bouctouche. The inscription on their stone reads: COLLETTE John D 1863-1944 h/o Cecile Roy 1864-1941.

marriage collettececile death

(10) Vital, born 12 March 1868 [1901 census] and baptized 30 March 1868, became a House Carpenter.  He was between 5’5″ – 5’8″ , med/dark complexion, dark brown hair, green/brown eyes and weighed about 150 pounds.  He married first Henriette LeBlanc 22 April 1887 at Ste Marie, daughter of Georges LeBlanc and Madeline LeBlanc.  They had one known child:

(a) Georges, b. 13 Mar 1889, St. Mary’s (PANB birth); d. 1892, age 3, buried 6 June in Ste Marie de Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection death).

Henriette died 29 Jan 1890 and is buried at Ste Marie de Mont-Carmel (PANB, http://www.acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/).



He married second on 25 April 1892, at St Thomas, Memramcook, Marguerite LeBlanc, daughter of Maxime and Marguerite LeBlanc, and had at least 11 children, all of whom were named on Marguerite’s tombstone (see photo – reads Mere de Joseph, Samuel, Maxime, Leon, Antoine, Pierre, Marie-Jeanne, Vital, Marie, Alyre, Anne):

(b) Joseph Pierre, b. 6 July 1893, Taunton, Massachusetts (MA vital records, 1901 census);
(c) Joseph Phelomene (Samuel) b. 13 May 1895, St Mary’s (PANB birth, relocated to Massachusetts using the name Samuel);
(d) Pierre (Maxime) b. 29 June 1897, St Mary’s (PANB birth as Pierre, 1901 census and mother’s tombstone as Maxime);
(e) Joseph Leon b. 01 Jan 1900, St Mary’s;  baptized 01 Jan 1900, Ste Marie de Mont-Carmel (Drouin Collection, 1901 census); m. 7 July 1919, Elise Lavoie, age 24  born/residing in Rogersville, daughter of John Lamie and Celina Richard; Leon was living in Monton and working as a laborer (Drouin Collection). In 1921 they resided at 100 Lewis St, Moncton (1921 census);  They likely relocated to New Bedford, Massachusetts before Sep 1926, where their son was born, and then returned to Canada abt June 1927 (son Melvin’s 1947 border crossing paperwork and as detailed in his obituary – http://www.federationgenealogie.qc.ca/):

WRENTHAM — Melvin Thomas Roy, 78, of State Street, Plainville,
died Saturday, April 30, 2005, at the Maples Rehabilitation and Nursing
Center. He was the husband of Audrey M. (Cross) Roy. They were
married 48 years. Born in New Bedford on Sept. 26, 1926, he was the
son of the late Leon and Elise (Lavoie) Roy. After his birth, his family
moved to their native land of Canada where he was raised and educated.
A veteran of the Canadian armed forces, he served in the U.S. Army
upon returning to the United States. He was a cutter and engraver for
Creed Rosary for 32 years until retiring. He then was an attendant at the
Highlander Laundry on Elm Street in North Attleboro for two years.
Mr. Roy was a longtime communicant of St. Martha’s Church in
Plainville, where he was also a member of the church bowling league
for many years. He was a volunteer coach for the PAL Little League.
He enjoyed traveling, day trips, country music, Christmas, playing
cards, cook-outs and watching sports on television. He especially
enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Survivors include his
widow; three sons, Michael R. Roy of California, Gary T. Roy and John
L. Roy, both of Plainville; two daughters, Catherine J. Buckman of
North Attleboro, Linda M. Borges of Mansfield; 14 grandchildren; a
great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews. He was the brother
of the late Leonard and Jean Roy. 
Leon died 1 April 1936, age 36 by poisoning in Allison, four miles from Moncton (PANB); In 1947, Elise was residing in Dieppe, New Brunswick (son Melvin’s 1947 border crossing paperwork).
(f) Joseph Antoine b. 23 June 1900, Bouctouche (birth index Family Search; relocated permanently to Salem, Massachusetts in 1922, occupation blacksmith; names father Vitale and birthplace Bouctouche, age 20 whch puts his birth at 1902?);
(g) Marie-Jeanne b. abt 1902, Bouctouche;  d. 1 Dec 1915, Bouctouche (PANB death, accidental discharge of a gun & http://www.acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/);

jean marie
(h) Joseph Pierre b. 25 May 1905, Bouctouche (PANB birth, m. 1919 Alveda Gaudet);
(i) Joseph Vital, b. 12 Mar 1908, Bouctouche (PANB birth);
(j) Marguerite Marie, b. 12 Sept 1909, Bouctouche (PANB birth);
(k) Alyre Euloge, b. 11 March 1912, Bouctouche (PANB birth);
(l) Anne Marie Ida, b. 15 July 1915, Bouctouche (PANB birth).

Vital likely resided in St Mary’s and Bouctouche most of his life as ten of his children were born there between 1895 and 1915, but likely Vital and his family spent time living/visiting Taunton,  Salem and New Bedford, Massachusetts. He and his family were not located in the 1891, 1911 & 1921 Canadian censuses nor was he located in any US Federal censuses.

Their first son Joseph Pierre was born in Taunton in July 1893, Vital was employed as an operative.   By 1895, he had returned to St Mary’s, New Brunswick where their second son was born.

Vital claimed that he had resided in Salem from Apr 1915 to May 1917 when he visited his son Samuel in the US, Nov 1920 (his daughter Marie-Jeanne, age 13,  died in Bouctouche on 1 Dec 1915 from the accidental discharge of a gun. Vital reported the death so perhaps the dates of his stay in the US are a bit off.).  Vital’s wife and children (Maxime, Pierre,Vital, Marie, Alyre and Ida) returned from the United States to Canada, arriving at McAdam Junction, New Brunswick, on 30 Aug 1917. The length of their stay is unknown.

Vital was living at 516 North Front Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts when, on 8 Nov 1923, his wife Marguerite and children Pierre, Vital, Marie, Alyre and Ida/Anne again arrived in the United States, and declared they were staying permanently.  Vital must have returned to Canada after his Nov 1920 visit, as his wife’s arrival paperwork claims her husband had arrived 11 Oct 1922.

Son Samuel was residing in Salem according to Vital’s arrival paperwork filed in Vanceboro, Maine, dated 4 May 1916 and Samuel’s 1917 draft registration card.  By Nov 1920, Samuel was in New Bedford (Vital’s November arrival). Son Antoine relocated permanently to Salem on 7 Feb 1922 through St. John’s.  He claimed to have been in the United States from Jan 1917 to 7 July 1920. Son Leon arrived in the US on 30 July 1923 with his wife Elise; he claims it to be his first visit.  He had been residing at 196 Union in Moncton and was planning a visit of less than six months to his father’s home 125 Bates Ave., New Bedford.

Vital is found in the 1925 (92 Belleville Rd) and 1928 (194 Nash Rd) New Bedford city directories.

It seems some of the family returned to Canada by 1935 (Vital is included in Kent, New Brunswick voter lists), and his death certificate indicates he resided in Moncton, New Brunswick, the three years preceding his death; his last address was 6 Queen Street. He worked the day prior to his death. Cause of death, on 7 November 1939, at the age of 71, was coronary thrombosis (a blood clot inside a blood vessel of the heart). He is buried in the St-Jean Parish Cemetery in Bouctouche with his wife, who died 31 May 1960 at age 85 (http://acadian-cemeteries.acadian-home.org/).

vital marriagevital marriage 1f1635d3e-5401-4ed2-a595-7c89f3b3907cf1635d3e-5401-4ed2-a595-7c89f3b3907c-1vital visitmargerite to New Bedfordvital 1935vital death cert8f955d13-2987-4f1f-a7a9-43c9d8599fa9Vital death

(11) Olivier J., baptized 5 June 1870, married Celeste Cormier in 1892 at  at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel, daughter of Denis D. Cormier and Genevieve Roy (death certificate names mother as Marie LeBlanc), after being granted dispensation for the 3rd degree of consanguinity.

Known children number fifteen and include:
(a) Joseph Arthur b. 30 May 1893, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1901 & 1911 census); m. abt 1916, Amanda Goguen, daughter of Francois Xavier Goguen and Celina Melanson (Drouin Collection); in 1921 the couple resided in Ste Marie with three young children (1921 census);
(b) Marie Emma b. 25 Jan 1895, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1901 & 1911 census); m. Alyre Cormier, son of Onesime Cormier, 18 July 1915, St Mary’s (PANB).
(c) Joseph Alban b. 31 Aug 1896, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1901 & 1911 census); m. Gertrude Belliveau, daughter of Dosithe Belliveau and Rose Goguen, at Notre Dame, Kent, in 6 Aug 1917.  They were buried at Charterville Cemetery (Our Lady of Calvary or Notre Dame du Calvaire) located in Dieppe New Brunswick on the Chartersville Road – “ROY Alban 1896-1965 wife Gertrude Belliveau 1898-1970″ (http://www.acadian-roots.com/cemetery-chartersville-two.html).
(d) Marie Elia b. 11 June 1898, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1901 & 1911 census); married 8 Nov 1920, Alfred son of Francois Surette and Marie Goguen (http://www.acadian-roots.com/marriages-catherale.html);
(e) Angelique b. 3 Jan 1900 (“Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959,” index, FamilySearch, 1901, 1911 census); m. 9 August 1920, Eugene, son of Maxime Caissie & Jeanne Leblanc (http://www.acadian-roots.com/marriages-catherale.html);
(g) Marie Emelie b. 15 Feb 1902, St. Mary’s (PANB birth, 1911 & 1921 census), m. 2 May 1923, Arthur, son of Sigefroid Leblanc & Sylvie Girouard (http://www.acadian-roots.com/marriages-catherale.html);
(h) Joseph Denis 30 Apr 1903, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1911 census);
(i) Joseph b. 10 Aug 1904, Mont Carmel (PANB, 1911 & 1921 census);
(j) Joseph Amedee b. 1 Jan 1906, St Mary’s (PANB birth, 1911 & 1921 census);
(k) Marie M b. 16 July 1907, St. Mary’s (PANB birth – not listed in any census, likely died young);
(l) Marie Alice b. 2 Nov 1908, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1911 & 1921 census),
(m) Marie Melina b. 23 Jun 1910, St. Mary’s (PANB, 1911 & 1921 census),
(n) Marie Laure b. 19 Aug 1911, St. Mary’s (PANB birth, 1921 census),
(o) Joseph Desire b. 6 Aug 1916 , St. Mary’s (PANB, 1921 census); m. Eva LeBlanc daughter of Fidele LeBlanc and Marie LeBlanc 19 Oct 1942, Ste. Antonie (PANB).

Olivier, a cultivator (farmer); died 17 December 1947, of vieillesse (old age) at Ste. Marie, a 77 year old widower.  His wife died 2 October 1945, at Ste. Marie, age 76 of pneumonia.

Oliver's marriageOlivier death7258d239-8a32-4f74-bc2a-fc24b278998a

(12) Jude, baptized 24 June 1873,  married Marie LeBlanc, age 33, of St Mary’s,  daughter of Cyrille LeBlanc and Scolastique Goguen on 1 May 1905, at the church of Notre-Dame de Mont Carmel; she likely died before 1911.

In 1911, Jude was residing with his brother Docité in 1911 the married/single/widowed column is crossed off, but it appears that both he and his father Joseph are labelled “V” (widowed), see close up.


Jude may be the single 48 year old boarder living with Olivier Cormier’s family, 55 Com Hill St, Moncton in 1921. There was also a possible Jude Roy living in Gardner, Massachusetts and listed in city directories from 1919-1921, however there are no other Roy family members at the address listed for “Jude Roy” (and a potential match was not located in the 1920 Gardner census), so there is no way to determine if this is our Jude.  He has not been located in any further records in Canada or the United States (records searched include marriage/death indexes, US and Canada WWI draft records, immigration records and censuses).

Jude marriage 1Jude marriage 2jude 1921



52 Ancestors Week #27 – A Beginner’s Blunder

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 leapt into genealogy several years ago, when my “Great” Aunt Natalie shared 30 years of research.  I accept the pedigrees as fact, and entered them into an online tree.  She had collected some fascinating documents – diaries, photos, vital records, census data and lots of correspondence from many newly met “cousins”.

“Back in the day”, these cousins collaborated and concluded that  my 3rd-great grandfather, John Hains (Haynes), had two wives and ten children. Imagine my surprise when I came upon John’s probate records at NEHGS this past summer and discovered another grown child!  The mix up?  With his first wife, he had a daughter Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hains; with his second wife, an Annie Elizabeth Hains.


On page 9 of John’s 1901 probate file, his widow Jane names the surviving children:

….and three sons namely

Alexander Haynes in the city of Boston in the State of Massachusetts – Fisherman;

George Haynes of the city of New York in the State of New York – Sailor;

John Haines in Chelsea, State of Massachusetts – Laborer [my g-g-grandfather William John Hains who married Jennie Ferguson - her story here]

and four daughters

Mary Stevens wife of R.J. Stevens of Ishpeming in the State of Michigan – Agent;

Elizabeth Hegland wife of Oliver Hegland of Boston aforesaid Laborer;

Annie E. Morrell wife of Walter Morrell of Newcastle aforesaid – Mechanic and

Carrie S. Craik wife of William Craik of Newcastle aforesaid  – Laborer ….


Annie E. Morrell was a new name to me. And according to the paperwork passed on to me, Alexander Haynes was dead in 1901! Every tree online seems to concur!  Aunt Natalie’s note reads “lost at sea?”

So I am here today in the hopes that all those tree owners will find this blog post and update their records!  As a newbie, we all make mistakes, the key is to go back and “fix” things as we evolve genealogically…

Alexander Hains/Haynes

Thirty years later, quite a bit more is online. With a bit of armchair research, I found our Alexander.  His first wife, Susan M. Gorman, with whom he had no known children, died in 1875.



Alexander was in Boston after Susan’s death.  His sister Mary (who was living in Boston, working as a nanny for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s grandchildren) mentions him in her diary:


Alexander was a mariner.  He sunk Schooner Clytle in the fall of 1891.

boat sinking

[A fathom is a unit of length in the Imperial system used mostly for measuring the depth of water. There are 2 yards, ~ 6 feet in a fathom.]

In January 1900, he was enumerated in Gloucester, Massachusetts as a Fisherman.


At age 49, he married second, on 19 Feb 1900, a 24 year old Minnie E. Lewis.  The marriage record confirms Alex’s parents as John Haynes and Edith Childs of New Brunswick.  His occupation is “Captain”.  He relocated from Gloucester, Massachusetts to Booth Bay Harbor, Maine  and went on to have three children with Minnie – Edith Madeleine “Madeleine” Haynes b. 1901 [m. Phillip Westbrook Hodgdon], Ruth E Hains b. 1903 [m. Frank Irving Adams] and Herman Lewis Hains b. 1906 [no known spouse].

marriage 2

I was able to connect with one of Alexander’s descendants who writes: “I have a copy of a letter and an obituary for Alexander.  He died December 17, 1907 in the Cape Verde Islands from a “fever”. He shipped out of Gloucester.  The obit said he was from Mirimichi, New Brunswick.”

His wife Minnie did not appear to remarry.  She was reported to be a dressmaker. She and her young family moved in with her widowed mother by 1910.  She died 29 Aug 1969; age 98.

So what about our Elizabeths?

Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Hains) Heggeland

John’s daughter Annie Elizabeth (Hains) Morrell was included in the 1871 and 1881 Canadan censuses as “Annie”, yet I had attached those records to her half sister Elizabeth! Since Elizabeth is “missing” from the 1871 and 1881 Canadian and 1870 and 1880 United States censuses, my “facts” fit perfectly!


In reality, Elizabeth’s whereabouts are unknown from 1861 until she married Oliver/Ole Heggeland, a mariner born in Norway and residing in Chicago, 5 January 1887, in Chelsea, Massachusetts. She likely relocated to Chicago and had four children, Edith, Mabell, George Ole and Lilian, all of whom died as babies. The couple separated a few days after the death of their last living child. “Lizzie” returned to Boston (she is found there in 1900 working as a house servant) and eventually made her way to Vallejo, California (she is found there in 1910 working as a housekeeper for a private family) to live out her years near (and possibly with) her sister Mary. Although the census taker reports that she is single, she continues to use the surname Heggeland. She was not located in the 1920 census or the California death indices, but according to family lore, died there in 1921.


Lizzie married

Lizzie census


Annie Elizabeth (Hains) Morrell

Annie Elizabeth married Walter Morrell  “Daniel F. Johnson : Volume 63 Number 2075, Nov 27 1885, Saint John, The Daily Telegraph- m. At residence of bride’s father, 24th Nov., by Rev. T.G. Johnstone, Mr. MORELL, Newcastle (North. Co.) / Miss Annie HAINES, Derby”

They settled in Newcastle, Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada and went on to have at least 10 children.

annie kids

According to family records, Annie lived until 28 May 1960 and was buried at Mirimachi.



Annie lived through both World Wars and sent sons off to each.  She seemed to be close to her children.  They wrote frequently and seemed to care deeply for their mother and siblings.  From my limited exposure, the “Haines boys” were all good looking, vivacious, “glass half full” type of characters. It is clear that Annie’s sons and grandsons were of the same mold.  An excerpt of a letter dated 1943 from England shows the personality.


The collection of letters can be found HERE.  The ones to Annie and between her children start half way down the page in the section labelled “MS4″.

Even if this isn’t your family, the letters are wonderful. Read a few (or all of them). Especially if you had ancestors stationed over in Europe during the war. If your ancestors were of Newcastle, Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada in the same time period there is a chance they might be mentioned!

The fond description reads:

“Of particular interest are letters addressed to Walter Morell or his wife, Annie, from their sons, Fred, Herbert (Herb), and Horace (Horrie) who served overseas during the First World War. Herb writes most frequently but there are letters from all three soldiers. Horace Morell was killed in France on August 8, 1918 – but his two brothers returned home safely in 1919. These letters span the years, 1916-1919.  There are also letters (dated 1941-1945) from Walter and Annie’s youngest son, James (Jimmie) and their grandsons, brothers Fred Morell, Jr. and Horace Morell, who served overseas during World War II.  Many of the letters from the Morells serving overseas are addressed to Janet Morell or Annie Morell and occasionally other family members. 

The soldiers’ letters in this fonds are unusual because they are from two wars and six different soldiers all from one extended family.  Son Jim’s letter to his mother from Camp Sussex (sometime in 1941) as he prepared to go overseas indicated that for a mother to have sons in both wars was not normal; he wrote “For you to have to go through it all again after the last time isn’t any small thing.” Both the frequency with which the soldiers write, and their choice of words signify close family ties. They also indicate that they received lots of “goodies” and letters from the home front, which was vital to soldiers.  Letters contain details about how soldiers passed their time when not fighting and often contain news of their other Morell soldiers – amongst whom there was a lot of contact.

Finally, the fonds includes post war letters (1946-1958) to Janet Morell (in Montreal) from her mother, Annie Morell; a letter to Grandmother Annie and aunts Jen and Annie from Dilys Morell at Camp Medley, 1947; a genealogy of the Morell family and the annual report for St. James’ [Presbyterian] Church, Newcastle, December 1913.”

A few other sample letters/postcards:




This postcard is undated but is addressed to Annie and reads: “This is my home while I am in Edinburgh. It is a splendid place and well looked after. H [orace]


Letter from Fred Morrell to his mother Annie Elizabeth dated 10 Jan 1918 from France.  Fred speaks of being away from his unit and at artillery school for a six week course.  It is a nice break from warfare.  He mentions that his brother Horace had visited with lots of letters and then goes on to name several friends and cousins who he has run into while stationed in Europe.

letter from fred

In another letter, Annie’s son James Morrell dated 2 January 1945 [about 6 months after D-Day].  He thanks her for the gifts and speaks of the vast array of gifts that arrived for him and others, they will be feasting for weeks.  He describes their Thanksgiving meal and mentions the cigars smoked afterwards.  He speaks of a short trip to Paris, the bitter cold and their accommodations.  They seem to take up in old bombed houses, missing half the roof with broken windows but with beautiful furniture, now of little value, where they can  put their feet up and feel as though they are living extravagantly without worrying about getting [cigarette] ashes on the rug.  He speaks of people skating with queer wooden skates, men on leave to London and mentions an invite to a local home for New Years.  They spoke “half good English” but he is getting very good with sign language. Having been to France, Belgium. Holland and London Cockney he’s not sure what language he speaks but is becoming bilingual. He mentions McCartney being killed by a shell in Schelt, Holland and closes wishing her a Happy New Year.

letter 3


The moral to the story. Go back and “re-fact check” the ancestors added to your tree when you were a “newbie”  – confirm you have done a “reasonably exhaustive search”.  Even if you think you are “done” with an ancestor’s story, periodically look for more.  You may find something amazing!

Welcome back to the “Family” Annie Elizabeth and Captain Alexander Hains/Haines/Haynes!


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