Five Generation Chart

Genealogists on Facebook have been posting five generation charts, which show the birthplace of  their ancestors through gg-grandparents. J Paul Hawthorne inspired the idea, and Miriam Robbins posted an Excel template here.

Here’s mine!

I have color coded by state/country.  If after gg-grandparents my ancestors were in the United States or Canada, I indicated where the earliest known ancestor from that branch came from.

Linda Chart.png


And here is my hubby’s:

John Little

Remembering Little Arthur Collins and his Family

135 years ago this month, three-year old Arthur Collins died.  He is not related, but the words in Mary (Haines) Stevens’s diary, my gg-grandfather’s sister, touched me:

Feb 3 1881: This is dear little Arthur’s birthday; a dear child I once took care of. He is three years old today;

Mar 15 1881: Received a letter from Mr. Collins which hastens me to the death bed of little Arthur;

Mar 19 1881: A telegram came this evening telling me of his death;

Mar 21 1881: I followed the remains of little Arthur to its last resting place and gazed on his dear little face for the last time. As I saw him lay in his little casket, I felt as if I could not have it so. He was covered with flowers. I took a lovely basket of white roses and smilacks.

Mar 21 1882: One year ago today dear little Arthur was buried.

Mar 22 1882: I had Mrs. Collins, dear little Arthur’s mama, to see me.

Massachusetts Vital Records report that Arthur died in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts of Meningitis.

arthur death

Arthur’s parents were Edward Augustus Collins and Sarah Elizabeth Powers, both born in Salem. The couple married 27 August 1868.  Edward, a Civil War veteran, was the son of James Collins and Hannah Bickford Larrabee.  Sarah the daughter of Joel Powars (Powers) and Eliza Francis.


Arthur was the couple’s fourth loss.  Other children:

  • Frank A. Collins died 1 December 1871; 13 days old, of nervous prostration (extreme mental and physical fatigue caused by excessive emotional stress; neurasthenia)
  • Frank P. Collins died 5 October 1873;  1 year, 10 months, 19 days, of dysentery
  • A stillborn brother, unnamed, died 13 Oct 1876.

Little Arthur’s life was recorded in only one census – in 1880, he was two.

arthur 1880

Edward who was 5’8″ with a light complexion, brown hair and blue eyes, collected a small Civil War pension (initially $4/month, later $10) for serving in Company A, 23rd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers from 4 Sept 1861 to 11 May 1863 when he was honorably discharged (he also served another 90 days of service between May and August 1864). He claimed this service caused near deafness after the battle of New Bern (14 Mar 1862, North Carolina). He does clarify that: “at home he can hear what his wife says by having learned the notion of her likes”.  He further complains of hemorrhoids and internal bleeding.

collins civil war

In a handwritten letter he describes his service and disability:

page 1 page 22

During his life, he worked as a seaman/mariner, ran a small grocery, worked as a barber and ship chandler. He died suddenly,in 1895, of heart disease, at Salem Harbor while rowing a boat.  He was 57.


death collins

In 1900, his widow, Sarah, age 62, was living in Salem with her brother Charles Powars, he petitioned on her behalf for a widow’s pension.

She owned two homes – 38 Essex Street, Salem valued at $3,100 with a $1,000 mortgage (a portion rented at $11/month) and 46 English Street, Salem, valued at $1,500 (rented at $10/month).  Her annual rental income was $252 annually; $70 was needed to cover costs of city taxes, water, etc., leaving her just $182 for repairs and to support herself.  She is unable to work due to physical disability.


tax Salem

Her claim was denied, the determination that she was not in need of additional income.

She never remarried. She died of Chronic Bright’s disease, 5 May 1905, age 63.

Remember little Arthur; remember his parents who buried their four children….how many lives this family, now forgotten, must have touched….

A Potential Breakthrough! – Jennie Ferguson

My “Greatest” Aunt Natalie was instrumental in piquing my interest in genealogy and most recently entrusted me with her work of 30+ years.  When she passed, exactly a year ago today, I wrote “Rest in Peace my Greatest Aunt Natalie and thanks for the wonderful legacy….AND if you can hear me, please send a SIGN to help us FINALLY find Jennie Ferguson’s parents John and Elizabeth!!!!” (post here).

In a nutshell, Jennie might have been born in the area near Richibucto, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada (according to daughter Jennie Haines Johnson’s 1919 death certificate, informant was her husband Ernest Johnson; other records specify a generic birthplace of New Brunswick) likely about 1858, records place her birth between 1856 and 1864**.

** Jennie’s birth year ?

  • The Boston Globe death notice lists her as age 82 (b. abt 1856)Her death certificate puts her age at 74 (b. 1864);
  • Her gravestone reads 1858-1938;
  • the 1880 census puts her age at 22, b. abt 1858 (assuming it is really her and not someone of the same name – she is working as a domestic);
  • She is listed as age 23 when she married in 1882 (b. abt 1859);
  • the 1900 census lists a birth date of Jun 1866, age 33 and says she was married 18 years. If correct, this would put her age 15 at marriage;
  • the 1910 census gives her age as 51 (b. 1859);
  • 1930 census, there is a woman of the same name as an inmate at a hospital in Boston, age 73, b. 1857 – not sure if this is her as she supposedly owned a house in Billerica;
  • If she is really the Jane Ferguson in the 1861 Canadian census, her age was 4, thus she was b. abt 1857


Jennie relocated to Boston in the late 1870’s where she initially was employed as a servant. She married there, 7 March 1882, William John “John” Haines, born 7 Mar 1856 in Richibucto son of John Haines/Hains and Alice Edith Childs. They likely knew each other before arrival in Boston, from Richibucto, as Jennie was a best friend to John’s sister Mary Haines.  The marriage record names her parents as John and Elizabeth. The Rev. John Hood, who married them, is listed in Boston City Directories in that time period at United Presbyterian, corner of Berkeley and Chandler Streets.

An entry in Mary Haines’s diary reads:

26 January 1882: “John came over from Chelsea this evening. We had a lovely time together. Jenny Ferguson my dear friend came down from Richibucto. She was here tonight.  Just came on the boat today. I am so glad to see her. She is my dearest friend”.

All available birth, marriage and death records for Jennie, John and their eight children have been reviewed.  She is named as Jennie or Jennie Ferguson in all except one – her daughter Margaret Elizabeth’s marriage in 1909 names her as Jennie Garfield. Garfield might be a typo or a clue….

Another “clue”might be the name Glatis (also Galatis).  Jennie named her first son John Glatis Haines.  Glatis is not a name that was used in the Haines family, so perhaps it is linked to the Fergusons.

Records were examined in New Brunswick and no individuals with a surname like “Garfield” or “Glatis/Galatis” seemed to be associated with Fergusons. Both surnames were uncommon in that area.

Other children’s names may offer clues: Ella May, Margaret Elizabeth, Minnie and Jennie (Edith, Alexander and Joseph are Haines family names). Mary Haines’ diary mentions her closest friend besides Jennie is Minnie Gordon, was Jennie’s daughter named after this Minnie?

Jennie was Aunt Natalie’s (and my grandmother Edith’s) paternal grandmother, thus my parternal gg-grandmother. Yesterday, I posted her story (read here) on a New Brunswick Genealogy Facebook page. A reader pointed to a potential Presbyterian Ferguson family that I had not considered.

1861 Family

In Weldford Parish, Kent, New Brunswick, 1861 (census page 27), an Elizabeth Ferguson was enumerated with her “brother” Archibald and two daughters, 4-year old Jane (a common nickname for Jennie) and infant Jepie (perhaps Jessie). Further research places the family in South Branch, a village about twelve miles from Richibucto.

south branch


Next door to Archibald is James Alexander Clare.  John Hains (Jennie Ferguson’s father-in-law) married a Jane Clare in 1865; online trees name James and Jane as siblings. Thus a potential connection between the Ferguson and Haines families.

Nearby (census page 25) is Elizabeth Ferguson, of the age to be Elizabeth and Archibald’s mother (or mother-in-law), with her children Agnes, Robert, Andrew, Mary and granddaughter Mary, age 6 [this granddaughter is listed as age 21 in 1871, then is not found marrying or in later censuses – who are her parents? – could this be Jennie listed by a middle name? or her sister?].  There is also a John Graham listed as Elizabeth’s son. The census is unclear, but further analysis indicates this may be her son from a prior relationship.

1861 elizabeth

The Robert Ferguson named in this census as a son of Elizabeth Ferguson filed a delayed birth record where he names his parents as William Ferguson and Betsy Potts, he writes that his mother had 6 children, all of whom were living.  He would have been Elizabeth’s 6th child in birth order: (1) John Graham, (2) Jane, (3) Elizabeth, (4) Archibald, (5) Agnes, (6) Robert, (7) Andrew, (8) Mary

Side note: Robert also named children Jennie and Jessie (perhaps family names?)

delayed birth.jpg

The marriage of this couple was published:

PANB, Daniel F. Johnson. Date December 28 1830, County Northumberland, Place Chatham, Newspaper The Gleaner and Northumberland:

m. Thursday 10th, by John Jardine, William FERGUSON, Esq. / Elizabeth POTTS, Harcourt (Kent Co.)

Land deeds further connect the Ferguson, Potts and Graham families.

land deeds ferguson.jpg

For example, in 1856 Archibald Ferguson, Andrew Ferguson and John Graham all of Weldford jointly buy land of John Potts of Wellington.

land purchase.png

A cemetery transcription at GALLOWAY CEMETERY in Rexton (formerly Kingston, just south of Richibucto) reads:

FERGUSON, William  died  Apr 19 1844  aged 59
native of Dumfrieshire, Scotland

William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts’s apparent last child, Mary was born in 1841.  The 1851 census for Kent County did not survive.  Elizabeth is widowed by 1861 and the census offers a race/where born of “Scotch Newcastle Dumfries”.  Thus, this grave transcription in likely her husbands (although there was a land deed filed in Weldford, 18 October 1844 where William Ferguson and his wife Betty sell land to John Graham – the deed reads as though William is living).  Jannet (Dunn) Childs, mother to Alice Edith Childs and James Childs, grandmother to William John Hains were also said to be of Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Perhaps a connection between the families.

Elizabeth is buried at St. Andrews in Rexton next to Captain Simon Graham’s second wife Mabel Plume. Was Simon related?

FERGUSON, Elizabeth  died Jan 16 1872  age 72
wife of William FERGUSON

Elizabeth potts death

Her grave states that she is of New Castle on Liddesdale, Rocborough Shire [Newcastleton, is a village in the Scottish Borders and within the historic boundaries of Roxburghshire, a few miles from the border of Scotland with England. The village is in Liddesdale and is on the Liddel Water, and the site of Hermitage Castle. The planned village of Newcastleton locally titled “Copshawholm” was founded by Henry Scott the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch on the 4th March 1793 taking the place of the original village of Castleton as a centre of development for flax, wool and cotton handloom weaving].


Weldford Scots.png

In 1869 a deed was filed that names the heirs of William Ferguson:

Andrews Ferguson, Archibald Ferguson of Weldford….Agnes Ferguson, Elizabeth Ferguson and Mary Ferguson, all of the same place spinsters.  Jane Evans, wife of John Evans of the same place, all heirs of the late William Ferguson deceased.  It then goes on to name Eliza Ferguson wife of Archibald Ferguson and Robert Ferguson also heirs.

william heirs

page 2


While it is possible that Elizabeth Ferguson had two children out of wedlock, she may have also have been widowed and thus Archibald’s sister-in-law.  However, she is named as a heir to William Ferguson and a “spinster” indicating that perhaps she never married.  Since Elizabeth Potts named a son John Graham, she likely did not name a subsequent son John Ferguson. This might indicate that although Jennie’s father may have been named John, his surname would not likely have been Ferguson.

In 1871, Elizabeth, a servant, and Jessie Ferguson were enumerated in Richibucto Parish (Jennie/Jane was not found this census year); given the age variations for Jennie in various documents, it is also possible that she was “Jessie” and her name was misinterpreted by the census enumerator:

William Fitzgerald (widower, wives were Honora Hickey/Jean Potts)- 78
Elizabeth Ferguson – 32
Jessie Ferguson – 9
John McWilliams – 4

That year’s city directory places Fitzgerald in Weldford, South Branch.


William Fitzgerald was likely related through his marriage to Jean Potts, probably a sister to Elizabeth Ferguson’s mother, thus William was an uncle.  In 1871 there was an exchange of land between William Fitzgerald and Robert & Andrew Ferguson, his likely nephews. Fitzgerald’s will is found in December 1875 New Brunswick land deeds; assets are left to his son-in-law and daughter, Richard English and wife Mary.

No definitive connection has been found between the Fergusons and John McWilliams, but he could be a relative. There was a John Childs, age 14 enumerated with Elizabeth in 1881. This could be John McWilliams enumerated with another surname in error. He was not found under either surname after this date. In 1871 there is a McWilliams family near Elizabeth (Potts) Ferguson in Weldford: William (63, b. Scotland), Christine (58, b. Scotland), Alexander (30), David (22), Janet (24), Anne (20), Christina (18), John (18), Archibald (10).

Four year later, Elizabeth Ferguson married James Childs, son of Joseph Childs and Jannet Dunn, 28 January 1875; both were of Richibucto.  The marriage was solemnized by Rev. James Law (1822 – 1882) minister of St Andrews Church, Rexton for 32 years from 1845 to 1877 – the church yard where Jannet Dunn and Alice Edith Childs are buried). More of the church and it’s origins here – A-historical-account-of-St-Andrews-Church. Witnesses were Nicholas Childs (James’s sister) and William English.

Note: In the 1871 census, Elizabeth Ferguson was enumerated as family #155; James Childs’s with his father and siblings are listed on the prior census page, families #147 & 148 – this is also where Mary Haines was enumerated in 1861,  she and Jennie Ferguson might have crossed paths and become friends while neighbors between 1861 and 1871. 

An entry in Mary’s diary dated 1 Dec 1881 reads: Seven years ago today [1874] dear Joseph [her brother] and I left Weldford for Nova Scotia.  Confirmation that both Haines and this Ferguson family were residing in Weldford.

A witness to Elizabeth and James’ marriage, William English (son of Richard English and Nancy May Fitzgerald,  daughter of the William Fitzgerald with whom Elizabeth resided in 1871), was part of family #149.  There were also several land transactions recorded between William Fitzgerald and William English.

childs feg marriage

James Childs was brother to Alice Edith Childs, who was mother to Jennie Ferguson’s husband John Haines and her best friend, Mary Haines!!  This seems to be another connection between the Haines and Ferguson families!!!!!! (more details on the Childs’ family here).

In 1881 and 1891, James and Elizabeth were enumerated in Weldford Parish.  They had two sons, James and William Joseph (neither seemed to marry or have children).

There was a John Childs, age 14 enumerated with them in 1881 (possibly John McWilliams in 1871). It appears this John died in 1888.  The newspapers reports: “John CHILDS of New Brunswick, while at work in a gravel pit on Sourdinahunk stream, Maine [Nesowadnehunk, Northern Maine near Mt Katahdin] was killed last Friday by the bank caving in on him. He lived a few hours”.  He is buried at St Andrews near James’s mother Jannet and sister Edith.  Death records list cause as an accident, his age as 22 but a residence of New Hampshire.

john childs grave

By 1901 James and Elizabeth relocated to British Columbia, where Elizabeth died 31 July 1913.

Elizabeth Childs death

In 1915, James next married Elizabeth Mitchell, who was 20 years his junior (widow of Adam Stothart; daughter of James Walter Mitchell and Elizabeth Mary Haywood), with whom he had four children – Janet Bertha (1915-1922), William Albion (1916-1976) and Sarah Jean (1919-1930)  and Hattie (1922-2011) before he died in 1923.  Elizabeth Mitchell was James Child’s g-grand niece – her mother, Elizabeth Mary Haywood was the daughter of his sister, Jane Childs.

Jennie’s best friend, Mary Haines’s grandson Ralph Stevens, inherited a photo from Mary’s collection.  Sender is unknown.  Ralph says it is dated prior to 1920. The photo reads: These are Bertha and Billy Childs my half bro. + sis. Don’t you like my little Billy boy? Yes, he is a little darling + mouse.

Bertha and Billy (William?)!!  Children of James Childs and Elizabeth Mitchell!!!    This had to be sent/ written by either Jennie Ferguson or James Childs Jr.!!  Since Mary (Haines) Stevens was Jennie’s best friend and James Jr.’s first cousin she may have corresponded with both.  Technically Jennie is not a half sibling as they are her step-father’s children with his second wife, but she certainly could have considered them half siblings.

Billy and Bertha

I do not have a handwriting sample of Jennie’s but do have James’ signature;  the “Childs” written on the photo differs from that in his sample, also, he adds a little “tail” to the s at the end of James and Childs, the words ending in s on the photo do not have this tail:

james handwriting.png

James Childs Jr. was born in 1876 in New Brunswick.  Mary (Haines) Stevens was born twenty years earlier and by 1880, when he was four, she was residing in Boston.  Although not impossible, it is improbable that she and James had much of a relationship.

To date, I have only located Hattie Childs’s obituary and it it has no mention of Jennie. If a Stothart descendant wrote the obituary they may not have been aware of a relationship.

Hattie Childs.jpg


A map of the area and the 1865/6 Kingston (now Rexton) directory further connects families.  William Ferguson is in RED.  Nearby in GREEN are the following connected families:

James A. Clare – father of Jane Clare, second wife of John Hains (m. 1865) and step-mother of Jennie Ferguson’s husband John and best friend Mary Haines.

Joseph Childs – Grandfather of William John Haines, Jennie Ferguson’s husband.

Richard English – son in law of William Fitzgerald, likely his wife is 1st cousin to Elizabeth Ferguson.

Simon Graham – Elizabeth Ferguson’s first child was John Graham and she is buried next to Simon’s second wife Mabel Plume.  Likely somehow related.

James Morton – father of Alexander Morton who married Mary Childs, sister to James Childs (husband of Elizabeth Ferguson) and daughter of Joseph Childs and Janet Dunn

William Fitzgerald – likely family with whom Elizabeth Ferguson was living in 1871, likely her maternal uncle.

John Graham – husband or father in law to Agnes Ferguson, daughter of William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts.

John Potts, Jr. – likely relation to Elizabeth Potts, wife of William Ferguson.



Potential Jessie connection (likely not accurate if Elizabeth Ferguson was a biological daughter of William)

A search of the 1871 New Brunswick census reveals only one Jessie Ferguson born between 1855 and 1865 in New Brunswick (using search criteria Jes* F*s*n – where * is a wildcard).  There is one other enumerated in New Brunswick as Jessie C Furgusson who was born in PEI  abt 1857. Her parents seem to be John and Sharleen. The same search in the United States, in 1870 with a birth place of Canada (and Maine), yielded no matches.

A Jessie Ferguson of the correct age to be Elizabeth’s daughter, born in New Brunswick, is found in 1880 working as a servant in Portland, Maine.

On 07 Nov 1882 in Portland, Cumberland, Maine, she married George W. Johnston.  The couple relocated to Wisconsin and then to Washington State. Children included Ernest, Ada, Sarah, Gordon and Bernice. Most census records list Jessie’s birthplace as Maine, only the 1880 census lists New Brunswick.

Jessie died 17 Oct 1934, Port Angeles, Clallam, Washington.  Her death record names her parents:

death jessie

Jennie Ferguson’s parents were also named as John and Elizabeth!  Could Jessie be a sister and Elizabeth’s maiden name Wallace?  Or did Jennie’s sister die young and Elizabeth Ferguson daughter of William have two children out of wedlock?


I am still searching!  But this information is intriguing…Aunt Natalie, are you listening? – send me a sign!!

A few last notes: The only other Ferguson family in the area of Richibucto was that of Jacob Ferguson (first wife Elizabeth McNarin , second wife Agnes Dickie).  I took a photo of his grave at Saint Andrews, Rexton cemetery when I visited in 2014.  His stone states that he was a native of Wallace, N.S. (census record also list a Nova Scotia place of birth about 1824 – 6 years prior to the Ferguson/Potts marriage).  Descendants of this Ferguson family appear in the Drouin Collection of Catholic Church records, Richibucto; the Ferguson family I’ve outlined and Jennie were likely Presbyterian.

Thus Jacob is probably not a member of William Ferguson’s family. Although he is buried in the same churchyard and both of his marriages were also performed by the Rev. James Law….

jacob grave.jpgjacob2

elizabeth graveagnes death

UPDATE – We have a DNA match!!!!!!  The tester descends from Archibald Ferguson, son of William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ferguson DNA match



Major Brian Hall married to Polly/Mary Lane


Major Brian and Polly, sometimes called Mary (Lane) Hall were my 4th g-grandparents.

Brian Hall tree

Early Life

Major Brian (Briant, Bryant) Hall was likely born in Norton, Massachusetts around 10 April 1763 to Brian Hall and Abiah Crossman.

brian birth

When, his father died in 1778, Brian was just 15.

Brian is mentioned in father’s will and probate records.

brian will.png

He is referred to as “second surviving son, a miner” [minor]:

Duly we left of to Brian Hall a miner the second surviving son of said deceased Eleven acres and seventy three rods of land at the South end of the home farm bounded as follows Beginning at a large stump in the line of the widow third thence by the widow third to Josiah Hodges Land Hence. South twenty nine degrees East to Silvanus Branans Land thence by said Bramans Land north sixty six degrees east fifty two rods to a corner thence north thirty five degrees west eight and a half rods to a turn thence a straight line to the first mentioned stump together with one half the dwelling house to wit the with half and one half the cellar under said house and privilege to pass and repass through the other part of the house necessary to improve his own part and privilege to use the well and one half of the barn and all an __ Buildings Standing behind said Dwelling house with Liberty to move it off all which buildings being on the widows thirds. Said Brian to have the liberty to improve the same and also Eighteen acres and one hundred and twenty two rods of Land on the north west corner of the Lincoln farm lying on the West side of the road bounded as follows . Beginning at a heap of stones by said road a little to the South of a small brook thence west twelve degrees south forty eight rods to a corner thence south three and a half degrees East to the river thence up stream said river to Noah Wiswalls [?] Land thence by said Wiswall Land north twenty three degrees west forty four and a half rods to a corner thence North fifty four degrees east twenty one rods to a turn thence north seventy degrees east to the road thence by said road to the first mentioned corner and one third part of all the outland or any other Estate not particularly mentioned that was given to sons by the deceased being his full share of said estate appraised at one hundred seventy one pounds twelve shillings and eleven pence.

Ephraim Burr, relationship unknown, was named as Brian’s, and his brother Silas’ guardian in 1782. This wasn’t a “guardian” in today’s sense. Burr was appointed as guardian because there was an estate involved. Ephraim would not likely have legal custody of the children, just legal authority over the property they inherited.

Why not to Abiah? The Legal Genealogist’s blog explains – In Blackstone “Commentaries on the Laws of England” he writes: “a mother … is entitled to no power, but only to reverence and respect…”

The Legal Genealogist goes on to say:

…At common law, there were three essential types of guardians….The guardian by nature or guardian for nurture had the right to physical custody of a minor child. That was always the father or, if the father died without naming a guardian in his will, then the mother.The difference between the two was that the guardianship by nature lasted to age 21 and gave the guardian control over the child’s personal property. Guardianship for nurture lasted to age 14 and didn’t involve property at all. The guardian in socage was the one who had custody of a minor’s lands and person…. (read more here):

brian and Silas

What About School?

We don’t know if Brian attended school. Puritans believed literacy was a religious obligation, thus most children were taught to read by their parents, primarily so they could read the bible.  Any further education was typically determined by the social class of the family. Brian’s elder brother Isaac was our family’s first Harvard graduate in 1775, and both Isaac and Brian became Attorneys, so it is highly likely all the Hall boys were well educated.

A 1647 Massachusetts law mandated that every town of 50 or more families support a ‘petty'(elementary) school and every town of 100 or more families support a Latin, or grammar, school where a few boys could learn Latin in preparation for college, the ministry or law. In 1770, Boston’s public education system was quite unequal and narrow. School was available only to white boys, who typically enrolled at age seven. Choices were either Writing Schools or Latin Schools. It is also possible that in lieu of attending school the boys had private home tutors.


Brian married Polly (Polley/ sometimes named as Mary) Lane, 1 Jan 1788 (by Rev. Joseph Palmer), daughter of Ephraim Lane of Norton. The Lane family genealogy links her to William Lane who settled in Dorchester, MA as early as 1635. The family was thought to come from England.

brian Polly marriage

A land deed filed in Taunton on 23 December 1796 (vol 79, pg 569, recorded March 28, 1801) names Isaac White, wife Mehetable, Brian Hall, wife Polly and Chloe Lane (single woman) all of Norton selling land to Ephraim Lane also of Norton. The deed explains that this is piece of land that was left by William Stone to his heirs, one of whom was his daughter Mehetable Lane.  Mehetable is the late wife of the purchaser, Ephraim Lane, who is buying said land from three of her children/heirs, named as Mehetable White, Polly Hall and Chloe Lane. Witnesses are Nancy Hall, Silas Hall, Polly Lane and Ruth Phillips.

Later Years

According to “The Halls of New England” Brian was a farmer and landholder. There are numerous deeds registered in Bristol County with Brian Hall, as the seller of land, most in Norton with Polly Hall signing as his wife, giving up her right’s of dower/widow’s thirds. Brian is listed with the title “Esqr” indicating he was an Attorney.

Index images for Bristol County, Massachusetts include land deeds for Brian who married Polly (d. 1833), his father Brian who married Abiah (d. 1778) and son Brian who married Henrietta (d. 1839).

Grantor Index (seller), Excel summary: Deeds Brian Hall

brian grantor

Grantee Index (buyer)

Brian Grantee index

Revolutionary War and Town Involvement

Brian volunteered at an early age in the Revolution, he served for three months in a Company of State Militia, in Capt. Jabez Barney’s company, from Swansea, attached to Col. Luke Drury’s Regiment, in the expedition to West Point, 1781.

Colonel Luke Drury’s regiment was in charge of guarding the garrison at West Point, New York, a critical point in the navigation of the Hudson River. West Point was an area of strategic importance throughout the war as the Americans feared the Hudson River would be used by the British to separate New England from the rest of the colonies.

The time frame was during the siege at Yorktown, the last major battle of the American Revolution, when Cornwallis surrendered there on 19 October 1781.


Brian revolution

job freeman testimony

Brian subsequently became a member of the Norton Artillery Company in the old 4th Regiment. On 20 April 1797 he was promoted to Major. Brian and his sons were not among the list of Norton participants in the War of 1812 (History of Norton).  Brian was close to age 50 and all of his son, except Isaac, minors.

Brian took a leading position in public affairs as Town Moderator (1805, 1810, 1812), a member of the Board of Assessors for about twenty years (between 1795 and 1816), Selectman (1802, 1805, 1807-10), Representative in General Court (1809, 1812-13) and was appointed  Justice of the Peace, 21 June 1809. He was a prominent adviser in town and county affairs, and a member of the old Congregational Society.


Brian 1815

Norton – Town Assessors

1795…..Brig. Silas Cobb, Elisha Cobb, Brian Hall.
1796…..Noah Clap, Elisha Cobb, Brian Hall.
1797…..Noah Clap, Brian Hall, Joshua Pond.
1798…..Joshua Pond, Noah Clap, Brian Hall.
1799…..Timothy Briggs, jun., William Burt, Capt.Jonathan Hodges.
1800…..Major Brian Hall, Lieut.. John Hall, Capt.Jonathan Hodges.
1801…..Capt. Jonathan Hodges, Major Brian Hall, Lt.Elisha Cobb, Lt. Rufus Hodges, Lt. Samuel Hunt.
1802…..Major Brian Hall, Lieut. Elisha Cobb, Capt.Samuel Hunt.
1803…..Brian Hall, Samuel Hunt, David Arnold.
1804…..Major Brian Hall, Capt. Samuel Hunt, John Arnold.
1805…..Major Brian Hall, Capt. Samuel Hunt, John Arnold.
1806…..John Arnold, William Verry, Brian Hall.
1807…..Major Brian Hall, Lieut. William Verry, Lieut.John Hall.
1808…..Brian Hall, William Verry, Samuel Hunt.
1809…..Brian Hall, William Verry, Samuel Hunt.
1810…..Brian Hall, Samuel Hunt, William Verry.
1811…..Brian Hall, Samuel Hunt, William Verry.
1812…..Brian Hall, William Verry, Samuel Hunt.
1813…..Brian Hall, Isaac Hodges, Samuel Hunt.
1814…..Seth Hodges, Daniel Smith, Jonathan Newland.
1815…..Brian Hall, Isaac Hodges, Samuel Hunt.

Brian in 1797 became a Mason.


Census data 

In 1790, Bryant Hall was enumerated in Norton, Massachusetts next to his widowed mother, Abiah Hall. Brian would have been 27, and is listed in a household with one male child under 16 (Isaac) and two women (wife Polly and daughter Polly).  Benjamin Stanley was enumerated directly after Brian. Benjamin was the father of Nancy Stanley, who became Brian’s sister-in-law by marrying Silas. Polly’s father Ephraim Lane was enumerated a few households away.

The town of Norton had 195 dwelling houses and 1,428 residents.

1790 census

In 1800, Brian is listed in Norton with a household of 9. In this year Polly had given birth to only 6 of the 8 children. The 9th family member is listed as a female age 26-45.  The census enumerator alphabetized the town, thus we can not determine who may have been Brian’s neighbors.  His brothers Silas and John 3rd were also listed in the Hall grouping. Abiah was not listed and does not seem to be enumerated with Silas or John 3rd.  She could possibly be the 9th individual in Brian’s household, enumerated in the wrong age bracket.

Under ten years of age – 2 (Brian age 3, Milton age 1)
Of ten and under sixteen – 1 (Isaac age 10)
Of twenty-six and under forty-five, including heads of families – 1 (Brian)
Under ten years of age– 2 (Sophia age 8, Marcia age 6)
Of ten and under sixteen – 1 (Polly age 12)
Of twenty-six and under forty-five, including heads of families – 2 (Polly & ??)

1800 census

In 1810, Brian is listed in Norton with a household of 10 next to Abiah and Silas.

Under ten years of age – 2 (Horatio age 8, Ephraim age 6)
Of ten and under sixteen – 2 (Brian age 13, Milton age 11)
Of sixteen and under twenty six – 1 (Isaac age 20)
Of forty-five and upward – 1 (Brian)

Ten and under sixteen – 1 (Polly age 12)
Sixteen, under twenty six–2 (Sophia age 18, Marcia age 16)
Of forty-five and upward – 1 (Polly)

1810 census

In 1820 the Briant (spelled Briatt) Hall household is listed as having 7 people. There are two extra females, one under age 10 and another between ages 10 and sixteen. The census was again alphabetized, thus giving us no insight to who may have been neighbors.

Ten and under sixteen years – 1 (Ephraim)
Sixteen and under twenty-six– 1 (Horatio or Brian or Milton – none of the boys were found enumerated elsewhere)
Forty-five and upwards– 1 (Brian)

Under ten years – 1 (???)
Ten and under sixteen years – 1 (???)
Sixteen and under twenty-six– 1 (Sophia or Marcia?)
forty-five and upwards– 1 (Polly)

1820 census

A letter written to support his brother’s application for a pension (below) indicates Brian relocated to Providence, Rhode Island in 1821. The reason for his move is unknown, but it appears that he and all of his children (all grown men and women) relocated to the area near Providence and Seekonk.

In 1830, Brian was recorded in Providence East Side of River, Providence, Rhode Island

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9 (1 – ??? perhaps Augustus Hall, born about 1824, who in later years is found residing with Brian’s daughter Sophia and her husband Horatio Barney – his parents are unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29 (2 – Horatio & Ephraim)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39 (2 – Brian & ??? – Milton and Isaac are listed at alternate addresses in the 1830 city directory)
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69 (1 – Brian)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39 (1 – likely Polly who never married)
Free White Persons – Females – 60 thru 69 (1 – Polly)
White Persons – Aliens – Foreigners not Naturalized (1 – ???)
Total Free White Persons (8)

1830 directory

hope Street

Letter Regarding his Brother John Hall

When Brian’s brother John applied for a Revolutionary War pension, Brian wrote an undated letter [likely 1833] as follows:

I Brian Hall of Providence in the County of Providence and State of Rhode Island do testify and say that I am in my seventieth year of age, that I well remember John Hall of Norton in the County of Bristol & Commonwealth of Massachusetts that in 1776 said John Hall enlisted in the month of January in the Company of Capt Silas Cobb and marched to winter Hill and from there to Dorchester Heights [?] and was in Service until the British troops evacuated Boston. —- after serving three months That said John Hall in July 1776 again enlisted in Capt. Samuel Whites company and were ordered to New York then he returned home the winter following after serving five months.

In June or July 1777 said John Hall again enlisted in Capt. Silas Cobbs company and was ordered to Swanzy [Swansea] in said county of Bristol to guard that shore and that he was in General Spencer’s expeditions to Rhode Island and served seven months.

In July 1778 the said John Hall again enlisted in Capt. Samuel Whites company and was ordered on to Rhode Island and was in General Sullivans [?] expedition and served four months.

In June 1780 s[ai]d John Hall again enlisted in Captain Abner Howard Company and marched on to West Point, was stationed there and served six months.

In October & November 1778 John Hall engaged with one Norton a Waggon Master that he drove his Fathers Team  and was employed in Transporting Articles for the army at Providence and served two months.

I further testify and say that I the said Brian Hall was born in said Norton and always lived in said town until 1821 when I moved to Providence.  Brian Hall



Brian died on Jan 14, 1833 in Providence, Rhode Island.

HALL Maj. Brian, formerly of Norton, Mass., at Providence, in 70th year, soldier of the Revolution, Jan. 13, 1833 – THE RHODE ISLAND AMERICAN


He and Polly are said to be buried in Norton Common Cemetery [although a visit here did not find them in the family grave site with Brian and Abiah and siblings Seth, Isaac & Prudence], West Main Street Rt 123 near Olympia Street or elsewhere.

In the 1836 Providence City directory, a widowed Polly is found residing at India Point, the same address as a few of her sons.

Polly 1836

india point

No death record has been located, the The Halls of New England states Polly died 3 April 1846.

No probate records were located in Massachusetts or Rhode Island for Brian or Polly.


(1) Polly was born in Norton, 28 June 28, 1788.  Polly died 27 August 1834, single, at age 46 in Providence, Rhode Island.  The same article tells us that her mother’s sister,  Chloe Lane, age 76, also single, died the same day.  Nothing more is known of Polly’s life.

Polly death providence

(2) Isaac was born in Norton, 24 October 1790.

Isaac seemed to have a bit of an issue with money, he was committed to the Providence County Jail for debts owed in Sept., Oct. & Nov. 1825 – more here Isaac Hall Prison Committments – Debtor. He is listed in Providence the 1830 & 1832 directories as a laborer residing on Angell St., however he was not found in the 1830, 1840 or 1850 census.

It is possible that Isaac had a child Augustus, born about 1824.  Augustus, a fisherman, and Isaac, a laborer, are found residing in the home of Isaac’s sister Sophia Barney in Seekonk, Massachusetts in 1855.  Augustus resided with the Barney’s through at least 1880. He was enumerated as a fisherman, running an oyster saloon and a laborer. He had epilepsy. His birth/death records have not been located.

In 1865, Isaac, a laborer, was found as an inmate in the Norton, Massachusetts almshouse. He died of “old age”, single, 16 Dec 1869 in Norton, Massachusetts. His death record lists him as a farmer.

(3) Sophia was born 1 August 1792.  Sophia married Horatio Barney of Seekonk, son of Israel (a marriage record was not located but Horatio Barney and wife are listed as heirs in her brother Brian’s probate records). A land deed transfering land in India Point from several Hall siblings to their brother Milton is recorded in Rhode Island where a Horatio Barney is listed as husband to Sophy, signed as Sophia (vol 77, pg 184, March 1838).

No record has been located, however Halls of New England claims that they had a child, Ephraim H. (who died age 1); Vital records and censuses name a son Briant Hall Barney b. 1831 (he is called Israel B. in 1855). He married Sarah J Goff of Rehoboth and had at least eight children. He died 11 April 1904 in Providence.

Sophia died 11 March 1862.

Horatio remarried six months later to Ardelia A Evans.  They had two children. Mary Sophia who died after five days and Delia Maria who married Charles Carpenter.

(4) Marsha was born in Norton, 10 December 1794. She married George Samuel Sutton of Seekonk. A land deed is recorded in Rhode Island where a George Samuel Sutton is listed as her husband (vol 77, pg 184, March 1838, see Sophia above). A second land deed is recorded in Rhode Island where Marcia purchases 1/7 of the land previously owned by Brian Hall (her brother) and Henrietta Huchins in India Point (vol 77, pg 61, November 1839). Marcia Sutton is listed as married to Samuel Sutton of Seekonk.

Hall’s of New England states that she had 3 children: Marcia M. (died age 2); George L. (married Mary Eddy & Mary Brayton); Mary H. (married Nathaniel Stanton, W.H. Trim & Victor Broughton).  George and Mary are listed as part of the family in the 1850 census.  George’s marriage to Mary Eddy, daughter of Comfort, was recorded 22 Jun 1856 in Seekonk, they had a child Georgianna.

Marsha is said to have died November 16, 1862 at age 67. No record of this has been located.

(5) Brian was born 24 May 1797.  Brian married Henrietta Huchins, of Providence, daughter of Richard. She is mentioned as his wife, giving up rights of dower in numerous land deeds through 1838, a year before his death.  They had a baby age in February 1835 who died at 2 weeks of age.

Brian & Henrietta own a piece of land called India Point in Seekonk (after his death we find siblings Horatio & Ephraim L. and widow Polly living here). Seekonk was at times part of Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts in the area of East Providence. The portion of what was Seekonk is now Providence, Rhode Island situated at the mouth of the Seekonk and Providence rivers and at the head of Narragansett Bay, Providence quickly went from a poor farming community to a bustling seaport in the colonial era.

In March of 1838 Brian sells the land to his brother Ephraim L. Hall. The land is then resold to various siblings as described below. Prior to these transactions brothers Ephraim Lane, Horatio and a widowed Polly were living on this land.

Rhode Island, book 70, pg 415: Brian Hall and wife Henrietta of Seekonk sell for $1,000 to Ephraim L Hall of Providence on March 10,1838 land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same lot Josiah B____ (?) purchased of John Brown Esq by deed book 24, page 273 in the records of Providence.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 38: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 29, 1839 to Milton Hall of Providence 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 50: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 29, 1839 to Horatio Hall of Seekonk 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 50: Horatio Hall of Seekonk for $200 sells in March 9, 1840 to Milton Hall Providence of 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838. Note that this is about the time that Horatio moved to Malden, MA.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 61: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 29, 1839 to Isaac Hall of Providence 1/4th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 61: Ephraim L. Hall of Providence for $200 sells in Nov 1839 to Marcia Sutton wife of Samuel Sutton of Seekonk 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate he purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 1838.

Rhode Island, book 77, pg 184: Polly Hall of Providence, Isaac Hall of Providence, George Sutton and wife Marcia of Seekonk, Horatio Barney and wife Sophy of Providence for $200 sell (no date but filed Mar 28, 1840) to Milton Hall of Providence 1/7th of land at so called India Point 20×80 feet plus a house of the same estate which Ephraim L Hall purchased from Brian and Henrietta Hall in March 10, 1838.

Henrietta Hall b. about 1796 died on 11 March 1838 and is buried at the same cemetery where Brian is buried a year later.

HISTORICAL CEMETERY #: PV001 NORTH BURIAL GROUND, Providence, RI Location: 20 ft west of NORTH MAIN ST at TEL pole # 140 100,000 burials with 40000 inscriptions from 1711 to 2000

A marriage intention in Seekonk was made between a Brian Hall and Lucy Mason about a year later on 23 March 1839. There is no marriage record found. Five days later Brian died on 28 March 1839 at age 42.

Brian’s brother Horatio had two daughters (one died at age 5) that were named Lucy Mason Hall. There is a Mason mentioned in Brian’s inventory as owing $3.00 and his probate records mentions property owned near the Mason’s. A few years later on March 13, 1842 another intention in Seekonk is found between Lucy Mason and Abel Cooper.

Partial transcription of Brian’s probate records can be found here, all of his siblings are named as heirs.  Additional details of his life were documented in another blog post here.

(6) Milton was born 19 October 1799. He married, 20 Nov 1824, Rosanna Pitman b. England who likely died young. No further information has been located (Halls of New England, which is riddled with errors, lists a maiden name of Cheney, which may be an associated name or maybe just be an error) .

Milton Pittman marriage

They had one child, Milton L. P., b. June 1826, who married Ellen Maria Dart, in Wrentham, he became a Boot Maker and later Postmaster, they had 3 children: William Pitman, Edward Milton and Emma Carrie Dart.

Milton Pittman death

On 24 April 1849, Milton was issued a Seaman’s Protection Certificate in Rhode Island.  He was listed as being born in Norton, age 45 with a dark complexion.


By 1850 he is a miner in  Tuolumne, California, living at Don Pedro’s Bar (one of the most famous gold mining centers).

Milton resided in California for several years, returned to the East Coast and married, 1 June 1856, Ursula Maria Vose of Wrentham, daughter of Stephen Vose (he is listed as a laborer and reports it is his second marriage).

Milton marriage 2

They had one child Harrison Vose “Harry” (who married Annette B Dupee of Medfield and had at least three children – Marion Inez, Frances Dupee, who died as an infant, and Bertha Annette). In 1860 & 1870 Harrison and his mom are found residing in Wrentham, 1860/5 with his grandparents and in 1870 with his grandfather. The 1865 state census Ursula Maria is noted as “married”.  In 1880 & 1900, mother and son are residing together, his mother is noted as “widowed”.

Family lore claims that Milton return to California.  In 1860 through at least 1866, he is a miner in Don Pedro Bar, Tuolumne, California and by 1870 a miner in Mariposa, California.  In 1872 when he registered to vote in Mariposa, he was listed as the Tollkeeper for Myler’s Bridge.

Milton toll keeper

He possibly died there, no death record was located.

(7) Horatio is my 3rd g-grandfather whose life is outlined in a separate blog entry here

(8) Ephraim Lane was born 16 October 1804. He married Lydia Woodward of Rehoboth, daughter of Samuel, and had no known children. He was residing on Hope Street, Providence as early as 1830 and in later years India Point with an occupation of “furnace”. The 1860 census has him in Providence, Rhode Island as a “toll keeper”. Lydia died in Seekonk 17 Feb 1865; in 1865 Ephraim was residing with a Ross family in Seekonk.

His death was recorded in Norton and lists him as a mechanic, he died on 22 January 1870, from diabetes, at the age of 66.  His death records lists him as “married”, however no record was located indicating a second marriage.

In summary, descendants of Brian Hall and Polly Lane came from Sophia, Marcia, Milton and Horatio.  Additionally, Augustus Hall, who likely never married or had children, was probably also a grandchild, parents unknown.


My Acadian 30 – week #15, Nathalie Sarah Boudreau


In 2007, I joined  It never occurred to me that online, unsourced trees were inaccurate.  I essentially “copied” my entire Acadian family from potentially erroneous public trees and never looked back.  Although my newer entries are sourced, a visit to Stephen A. White, at Moncton University’s Centre d’Études Acadiennes [Center for Acadian Studies] in 2014,  revealed a number of errors. I am determined to start from scratch, and verify that I have all available records beginning with the 30 direct ancestors, connected to my maternal grandmother. This includes her parents, grandparents, g-grandparents and g-g-grandparents.

yvonne roy

To keep the project manageable, I will write of one ancestor in each post.

Prior Weeks (click on a name to read the sketch)

Generation 1

Week #1 – Yvonne Marie (Roy) Billings

Generation 2

Week #2 – Pius/Paul Dost Roy

Week #3 –  Marie Laura “Laura” Melanson

Generation 3

Week #4 –  Docité OR Dosithée Roy

Week #5 – Victoire LeBlanc

Week #6 – Magloire Melanson

Week #7 – Ausithe/Osite Dupuis

Generation 4

Week #8 – Joseph Roy/Roi (King)

Week #9 – (Judith) Angélique Belliveau

Week #10 – Georges LeBlanc

Week #11 – Madeleine LeBlanc

Week #12 – Laurent Melanson

Week #13 – Pélagie Leger

Week # 14 – Jean-Bénoni DuPuis

15. Nathalie Sarah Boudreau, likely the daughter of Thaddee Boudreau and Louise/Lucille Melanson, was probably born in April in  either 1826/7 or 1828 in Memramcook, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada.

There is no baptismal record at Memramcook during any of these years of a Nathalie Boudreau, or of any other Nathalie who might have been known by the name Boudreau.(however her civil death record dated 1908, indicates she was born at Memramcook eighty-one years earlier). The 1901 census puts birth at April 1826, rather than 1827, and the 1861 census places her birth in 1828).

Renowned Acadian genealogist Stephen A. White and my mtDNA results offer evidence of Nathalie’s parentage, Stephen writes:

There were only four Boudreau families in Memramcook who were having
children in 1828, and among these, that of Thaddée Boudreau and Lucille
Melanson appears to be the only one with a “gap” in which Nathalie might
have been born, and this “gap” coïncides with early 1828. (They were
married in January 1827, but their first previously known child was born
near the end of 1829.) So, it looks like Nathalie would have been a
daughter of that couple, and that the priest for some reason forgot to
record her baptism. Thaddée and Lucille also had a daughter named
Domithilde, who in 1857 married Denis Dupuis, another son of Joseph Dupuis
and Anne Richard. As multiple intermarriages among Acadian families were
common, this makes it seem all the more plausible that Nathalie was likewise
a daughter of Thaddée and Lucille.

If the above suppositions are correct, then the maternal-line ancestry would
run back to Geneviève Lefranc through Apolline Forest (m Joseph Melanson),
Anne Bourque (m 2 Paul Forest), Marie Thériot (m Jean-Baptiste Bourque),
Marguerite Cormier (m Claude Thériot), Marguerite LeBlanc (m François
Cormier), and Catherine Hébert(m Jacques LeBlanc). Catherine was of course
the daughter of Geneviève Lefranc and Antoine Hébert.

My mtDNA results do match those of other testers (five as of this posting) who report lineage to Geneviève Lefranc: click here  to view mtDNA results at compiled by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino.

mtdna results

Nathalie is not with this family in 1851, nor was she located elsewhere in the Canadian census returns.

Her known siblings include:

  • Henriette baptized 26 Oct 1829 in Memramcook, married Olivier Moise Bourgeois, died 22 March 1899 in Memramcook.
  • Domitille baptized 4 June 1832 in Memramcook (listed with the family in 1851 census)
  • Osite baptized 15 December 1834 in Memramcook (listed with the family in 1851 census)
  • Euphémie baptized 28 Aug 1837 in Memramcook (listed with the family in 1851 census)
  • Delfin born bout 1840 (listed with the family in 1851/61 censuses)
  • Ferdinand born about 1844 (listed with the family in 1851/61/71 censuses), by 1900 he was residing in Fitchburg, Massachusetts where he died 11 November 1917. He married Domitilde Gautreau, according to death records, daughter of Thaddee Gautreau and Marguerite Melanson. She died in 1913.

Fernand death.jpg

  • Rosanna born bout 1851 (listed with the family in 1851 census)

She married Bénoni Dupuis at Memramcock on 3 August 1852.

nathalie marriage

Known children included:

  • Eustache, baptized Memramcook, 30 Jun 1854 [8-64]; appears on a farm in Malakoff with his parents, brother’s Ferdinand’s family and finally Phillias’ family; no marriage or children found; likely died 10 Apr 1914 in Scoudouc (laborer, died of dropsy after six months illness – record here).
  • Marie, baptized Memramcook, 13 May 1857 [8-131]; buried Memramcook 14 April 1868  [M-53].
  • Ferdinand, twin, baptized Memramcook, 15 Nov 1859 [9-20]; married Olive Melanson, daughter of Laurent Melanson and Pelagie Leger (his sister Osite married Olive’s brother); he was buried 1890 at Scoudouc, age 30 [record here].
  • Phillias #1, twin, baptized Memramcook, 15 Nov 1859 [9-20]; buried Memramcook 25 Dec 1859 [9-24]
  • Phillias #2, baptized Memramcook, 15 Jun 1862 [9-90]; married Adeline Melanson, daughter of Hippolyte Melanson and Anne Melanson; in 1911 he was enumerated on the farm in Malakoff.  He likely died 5 Dec 1918, in Malacoff, age 56 from Influenza.
  • Antoine, baptized Memramcook, 16 Oct 1864 [9-174]; buried 1876 Scoudouc, age 12 [record here].
  • Ausithe/Osite, baptized Memramcook 16 Jun 1867 [M-27A] – see sketch week #7.
  • Marie Bibianne, baptized Scoudouc 15 Mar 1871 [15]; married Jaddus Melanson, son of Pierre Melanson and Madeleine LeBlanc, in Scoudouc. She died 1 Dec 1950 in Springhill Jct., Cumberland, Nova Scotia from Breast Cancer (record here).

1861 Census – see Benoni’s sketch for images/details.

In 1861, Benoni, Nathalie and their three children, with several of Joseph’s siblings, resided on a farm adjacent to his father’s, in Scoudouc, which in 1866 became known as Malakoff (by 1898 Malakoff was a farming and lumbering settlement with 1 store and a population of 150 so it was likely a smaller community in 1861).

1871 Census – see Benoni’s sketch for images/details.

In 1871, the family is enumerated on the same farm.

1881 Census

Benoni died between 1871 and 1881, likely after 1875.  His death entry has not been located in parish or civil records. Nathalie Sarah’s father Thaddee passed away on 15 October 1875, in Memramcook, New Brunswick, at the age of 70.

In 1881, a widowed Nathalie is enumerated in the household of her son Ferdinand along with several of her children, in Scoudouc at Dorchester Road, Shediac Parish, a farm which Ferdinand had purchased of his father in 1875, for two hundred pounds. Ferdinand later took a mortgage on the land; which was noted as land in Malakoff.

The census microfilm is unreadable in places, the family is indexed on as:

Ferdinand 20, farmer
Natallie  53, [Nathalie]
Eustash  26, farm laborer [Eustache]
Phillias  18, farm laborer [Philias]
Osite  14, [Ausithe]
Bibienne  9, [Bibianne]

1881 Nathalie

1891 Census

Her son Ferdinand passed away on 17 September 1890, in Scoudouc, New Brunswick, at the age of 30.

By 1891, Nathalie  resides with her son Philias’ who appears to be running her deceased husband’s farm with his young family.  Her son Eustache and her daughter Ausithe Melanson and their families reside nearby (or perhaps on the same farm). The census notes that Nathalie can not read.

Philias, 27
Adeline,  27
Adnas, 2
Elizabette, 8/12
Natalie, 64

1891 Nathlie

1901 Census

Her daughter Osite/Ausithe passed away on 28 August 1897, in Scoudouc, New Brunswick, at the age of 30. Nathalie resided next door to her young grandchildren by Ausithe, Laura and Melesse Melanson who were ages five and two. Nathalie’s  mother Lucille Louise passed away on 27 September 1898, in New Brunswick, at the age of 95.

In 1901, Nathalie  continued to reside with her son Philias and his family on the farm.  Her son Eustache resides with them:

Philias, 36
Deline, 36
Edna, 12
Honoré, 9
Celine, 5
Arthur, 3
Zelda, 2
Nathalie, 74
Eustache, 40

1901 census


Nathalie died on 07 May 1908 of “general disease” in Scoudouc, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada.

nathalie death

Humphrey’s Hughes’ Claim to Millions!

One of my brick walls is my 2nd g-grandfather John Hughes.  When he married Kittie (Katherine) E. Perry, daughter of George Perry and Ann Jones (who were Welsh and of Rome, NY) in June 1880, the newspaper lists Hughes as being of Ilion, Herkimer, New York. Ilion was a small section of German Flatts.

John Hughes

On 18 Feb 1889 Kittie married second Frank Clough of Bath, NH in Frankfort, NY.

The listing from the 1889 village directory shows Humphrey L. Hughes as a boarder at the home of Frank Clough, 129 Main Street, Frankfort.  In the 1891 directory this same man is living at 26 Main Street and is a “car inspector.” He is also listed in the 1892 State Census as a “car builder”.


A memorial book created by Kittie’s niece Annabelle Palmer (daughter of Kittie’s sister Cordelia b. 1885) has three entries – her father, a brother who died at age 16 and Humphrey who died when she was ten.  This leads me to believe that Humphrey was related.  Is there a tie to John or another of my ancestors?  Hughes was a common Welsh name in the area.

Humphrey mass card

Humphrey was born in Tremeirchion, Flintshire, Wales about 1846. His baptismal record has not been located.

He does not appear in Herkimer County in the 1850, 1860 or 1870 federal censuses or in the 1855 or 1865 New York State censuses which leads me to believe that he is not a native of the county. There is a Humphrey Hughes (no middle initial) listed in Little Falls in the 1880 census as “single” and a “hostler,” but it is impossible to know if this is the same man.

He was injured at work in January 1895, died 29 March 1895 in Utica, New York and is buried in Floyd, New York.

humphrey injury

humphrey death notice

Also buried at Floyd Cemetery:

Hughes, Elizabeth, d. 25 Aug 1898, age: 66yrs, wife of Edward Hughes
Hughs, Edward, d. 21 Nov 1894, age: 80yrs

A death notice from the Ilion Citizen  (5 April 1895) reads:

“Alleged Heir To Millions – It is claimed that Humphrey Hughes, who died Wednesday, was a nephew of Blythe, the California millionaire. Hughes was a railroad workman, and spent considerable money attempting to prove his claim the Blythe millions. Hughes’ death was a result of an accident about a year. ago.”

Another obituary from the Little Falls “Evening Times,” 4 April 1895:

“Humphrey Hughes died at the residence of his sister in Utica Monday morning. He was born in Tremerchion, Flintshire, Wales, 49 years ago and came to this country about 20 years ago. …”

ny times

It appears Humphrey never married.  He left his assets to George Twill, relation unknown (he did have an unnamed sister in Utica at the time of his death).

probate Humphrey Hughes pg2.jpg

probate Humphrey Hughes pg2


But what about the millions?

The Thomas Blythe case was well documented Nationwide and in Europe I have read a few hundred newspaper articles seeking a connection between Humphrey Hughes and Blythe, finding none.

There are many version of the story, one follows:

Blythe came to California in 1848/9 from Wales. In 1850/1, through the purchase of two quitclaim deeds for the total price of slightly over $2,000, he had acquired a triangular-shaped, block sized parcel of real estate located amid the sand dunes in the northeastern portion of the San Francisco peninsula. This area afterward became the heart of downtown San Francisco and this single piece of property, which came to be known as the Blythe Block and which was bounded by Market, Geary, and Grant (then Dupont) streets, made Blythe a millionaire.

Blythe went on to invest in other properties and companies. He died in 1883.

Blythe’s estate, exclusive of the Mexican holdings, was worth between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000. Although Blythe’s attorney, W. H. H. Hart, claimed that Blythe had made a will, and produced an office copy to prove it, no legally admissible will was ever found.

Nearly two hundred aspirant heirs from various parts of the United States and the United Kingdom filed their claims with the San Francisco probate court.

Another reads:

On the evening of April 4, 1883, the person whose name heads this article died in the city of San Francisco, leaving an estate at that time worth at least $6,000,000, and which said estate has increased in value until it is now worth at least $20,000,000.

At the time of his death little was known of the millionaire Blythe, except that he was the sole owner of that splendid property on Market street in San Francisco, comprising all of the block of land and building bounded by Market, Grant avenue and Geary street; and being now the best block of real property in the city of San Francisco, and, perhaps, the very best upon the American continent, from the fact that its position in the city of San Francisco makes it the key to the entire business portion of the city.

Mr. Blythe had so lived that none of his most intimate friends seemed at that time to know much about him, or who, or where, his kinspeople, if he had any, lived. Having left no wife or family, and dying intestate, it was for a time the all absorbing topic of the community as to what disposition would be made of his vast fortune.

The case was finally resolved in 1897 when Blythe’s illegitimate daughter, Mrs. Florence Hinkley, was determined to be sole heir of the fortune!

The article states:

The case of ” Tom” Blythe, thus settled, Is historic. Blythe was an eccentric old Welshman, over whose millions his relatives, real and imaginary, have quarreled in the courts for twelve years….

Blythe’s real name was not Blythe at all, but Thomas Williams. Blythe came to America from Wales In 1848, when he was 21 years old…..

Blythe went on a visit to Europe In 1873. Hle dressed shabbily, but he gave champagne suppers Ad libitum. One day he met Julia Perry….

Blythe left Julia and returned to San Francisco, and in December 1873, he received a letter from Julia Perry in London announcing that a daughter had been born to him and that she had been named Florence. In response Blythe sent her a draft and a friendly letter. When Florence was 3 years old her mother married a London man named Asheroft, a drunk.

It Is not known that Blythe ever knew of the of Asheroft. Up to the time of his death he and Julia Ashcroft wrote to each other as man and wife might have done, and the little girl, Florence, also received numerous letters from her father, many of which were preserved and have been the most important of all the evidence In the twelve years’ litigation.

In these letters Blythe displayed great affection for the little girl he had never seen. He referred to her as his darling child, and promised to educate her.


Although the millions were awarded to Blythe’s illegitimate daughter, the Williams family made a good case that Blythe was actually Thomas Henry Williams, one of five children born to John Williams and Elizabeth Savage, about 1822, in Mold, Flintshire, Wales (about 13 miles from Humphrey Hughes’ reported birthplace).  Siblings included  John, Elizabeth Powell and Sarah Roberts.

map flintshire


thomas williams birth

blythe welsh

williams claimants

It seems that all court records related to this case were destroyed by the San Francisco earthquake. CA Supreme Court record on the case:

I am posting with hopes that someone reading knows more of Humphrey, his family, relationship to Blythe and perhaps his connection to my family!

A Cousin Story – Cecelia “Celia” “Kess” Perry/Parry Stevenson

When my g-grandmother Georgianna (Hughes/Clough) Hall passed in 1964, a Cecelia Stevenson sent condolences from Indianapolis, Indiana.  Next to her name, in my grandmother’s handwriting, was written “relative”.  Something about this intrigued me.  I searched for cousin Cecelia “Celia” (Perry/Parry) Stevenson for years and am finally able to share a small part of her story.

In Georgianna’s address book was written:

• Mrs. L.A. Stevenson – Celia Cynthia [address crossed off] Indiana.
• C.K. Stevenson – 1320 N. Delaware Indianapolis Indiana

I never put two and two together! I hadn’t realized (until today) this was my missing Celia Parry!


Cecelia “Celia” was born 12 August 1899 in Galeton, Pennslyvania to George Perry/Parry and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Phillips.  She was a first cousin to my g-grandmother, Georgianna.   Georgianna’s mom, Kittie (Perry) Hughes/Clough/Shipman, was a sister to Celia’s father George.

celia's tree

Lizzie (Phillips) Parry
Lizzie Phillips

Celia’s mother gave birth to at least eight children (censuses indicate nine), three of whom died in 1891 of diphtheria.  At the time, Celia’s father, had deserted the family, to marry another woman (story here). Her mother’s sister, Miss Alice Phillips, cared for the family. Celia’s mom and eldest brother Daniel, age eight, recovered, but the younger children—George, Alice, and Arthur—died.  When George’s second wife learned he was a bigamist, he disappeared.

By 1893, George and Lizzie reunited and relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota where their children William “Will” and Elizabeth “Bessie” were born. George’s mother Ann (Jones) Perry Evans passed in 1896 and her obituary places George in Oregon (no other evidence places the family there).  By 1897 the family removed to Galeton, Pennsylvania, near George’s sister Cordelia (Perry) Palmer/Spoor, where their last two children, Celia and Frederick “Fred” were born.  By 1910, they were living in Westmoreland, Oneida, New York.

When Celia was thirteen (5 April 1913), her 50 year old mom died in Oriskany, Oneida, New York, cause unknown.

It seems the family then returned to Pennsylvania.  On 30 March 1916, at age sixteen, Celia gave birth to  baby boy  in Williamsport, Lycoming, Pennsylvania. She named him Richard [side note: my Autosomal DNA matches that of Richard’s daughter]. The name of the boy’s father is unknown, but based on Y-DNA results, it is possibly something like “Schwartz”.

The boy was adopted by Henry and Jennie (Dykeman) Seltz of Galeton, Pennsylvania. Perhaps Celia selected the adoptive family, as they were neighbors to her aunt Cordelia’s step-son, Leland Spoor (she likely thought of Leland as a first cousin; his mother died when he was two and Aunt Cordelia raised him).

Celia’s photo album (now with her granddaughter) includes photos of little Richard and Mrs Seltz.  The Seltzs must have kept in touch!

seltz nd dick

By 1920, Celia was a “roomer” in the home of Eugene and Laura McKee in Jamestown, Chautauqua, New York.  She was employed at a garment company as a machine sewer.  On 1 March 1920, she married her fellow roomer, Phillip Lee Kessler, a street car railroad conductor, son of Charles Kessler and Nellie Phillips (no known relation to Celia’s mother). The marriage was short lived; the pair divorced 12 Aug 1921. Despite the divorce, Celia’s nickname “Kess”, stuck for the remainder of her life.

When Celia’s dad passed in 1923, she signed as the informant on his death certificate, listing her residence as Galeton, Pennsylvania.


Her father’s obituary, however names Cincinnati, Ohio as her place of residence.

She was enrolled at the Good Samaritan Nursing School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated in 1924.  After graduation, she took a position in the same town as a nurse for a private family, rooming with fellow classmate and good friend, Marie Barlow and a 59-year old widow named Mary Sohngen. The three paid a total of $75/month rent.

Celia next married Lincoln Augustus Stevenson, son of Frank Stevenson and Catharine Freil.  In 1932 they were living in Columbia, South Carolina.  They had a daughter, Mary Cynthia Stevenson, born 12 Sept 1933 in Indiana. She was likely close to Lincoln’s 10 year old son by a prior marriage, Richard Lincoln Stevenson, as he was named in her obituary.

Although Celia and Lincoln were divorced by 1940, she continued to use the name Mrs. Celia K Stevenson for the remainder of her life; Celia appears in the 1940 census as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, Marion, Indiana. She worked 48 weeks that year and made a total of $660 (she also received more than $50 from other unnamed sources).  Eight year old Mary Cynthia was not found in 1940, but when her father died in 1950, she was listed as resident of Indianapolis.

Stevenson death

Cynthia’s daughter offers the following detail:

Due to WWII, my mom Cynthia “Cindy” was sent to a Catholic boarding school, St. Joseph’s Academy, in Tipton, Indiana.  She became a Nun but never did her final vows.  She went to St Mary ‘s Notre Dame and then to St Louis University where she met her husband (“my dad”).

Cindy has another half brother-  Young Stevenson, of Montgomery Alabama.  He has five kids and lots of Grandkids!

Cecelia never drove a car and lived for years at 1320 N. Delaware, Indianapolis ( I still remember that address); a studio apartment.  She inspired me to become a nurse.


On 10 September 1946, Celia’s eldest brother Daniel died in Wellsville, Allegany, New York. 

In 1947 Celia’s aunt Alice E. Phillips (her mother Lizzie’s sister) died. Alice had never married and did not have children.  There was a four year court proceeding over her will – numerous newspaper notices offer details of her sister and brother arguing over the inheritance – A number of them named “Cecelia Parry Stevenson” as a heir (she was not one of those directly involved in the suit).

Heirs of Alice Phillips

In Summary:

Celia’s mother Lizzie (Parry) had siblings Alice, Arthur, Lena (Hatcliffe), Mary Ann (Valentine), Rose (McBride) and Fred.  At the time of the trial, only Lena and Fred were living.  Alice never married, worked hard, lived frugally and left a sizable estate.  She had changed her original will, which was essentially a 50/50 split between Arthur and Lena (with Arthur’s portion in a trust, paying him income for life) to one which left the majority of the estate to Arthur.
Lena contested this, saying he forced Alice to revise the will,  utilizing his attorney  (just six months after the initial will was written) and supplying his own associates as witnesses. She further claimed Arthur was a drunk who rarely worked, who physically and orally abused Alice, forged signatures on checks to draw money from her bank account and threatened her with “the bug house” if she didn’t modify the will to be in his favor.  Alice feared him; he kept her isolated from friends and family as she was not mobile in her last years.
The testimony of the witnesses tended to prove these facts. Arthur admitted that he threatened Alice with the “bug house”.  Lena won the case, the jury having found that the will was procured through undue influence. Arthur appealed and lost. According to newspapers, the case was settled in 1951.
Read details here, type Alice Phillips in the search box

In 1953, Celia served on a panel at St. Vincent’s entitled “The Nurse as the Priest’s Assistant in the Spiritual Care of the Sick”.


In 1954, Celia’s picture was in the local paper, as an attendee at a private duty nurse’s brunch (likely on the far right).


In 1968, she was a prize winner at the Grand Opening of a local shopping center!


On 1 May 1977, Celia’s brother Fred died in Conneaut Lake (shore), Pennsylvania.  She never mentioned other siblings to her grandchildren.  Although one grandchild, while in college was in touch with her brother Daniel’s daughter, Elizabeth I. “Bette” (Parry) VanDurme in New York.

The whereabouts of Celia’s sister Elizabeth “Bessie” Parry (who married John Burge) and brother William “Will” Parry are unknown.  The last source mentioning them was in probate notices, related to their Aunt Alice, in 1951. Her sister might be the Elizabeth Burge who died 8 Dec 1966 and is buried with John Burge (d. 1978), at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Hammondsport, Steuben County, New York.

 Celia died 2 December 1997 in Greenwood, Johnson, Indiana at the age of 98. The inscription on her tombstone reads: “MRS SANTA CLAUS”.  The cemetery office and local historical society could not provide further information about this title.

UPDATE: Celia’s granddaughter writes:  “We called her Grandma Cel”….”By the way, ” Mrs. Santa Claus” was because she always sent cards at Christmas signed that way.  I think I was a teenager before I realized it was her!”




Celia’s children

  • Son Richard Dykeman Seltz, who she gave up for adoption, married Mary Johnson and had four children. He died 12 March 1996 in Kissimmee, Polk, Florida.

Richard Dykeman Seltz, 79, of 728 Yucatan Court, Poinciana, died March 12. Born in Williamsport, Pa., he moved to Poinciana from Galeton, Pa., in 1986. He was a self-employed glove manufacturer and a member of the Masonic Lodge of Couldersport, Pa., and the Elks Club of Kissimmee. Survivors include his wife, Mary; sons, Richard H., Houston, Texas, Scott J., Chatham, N.J.; daughter, Jeanne Wenzel, Jacksonville, Anne Seltz, Rockville, Md.; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Fisk Funeral Home, St. Cloud, was in charge of arrangements.

  • Daughter, Mary Cynthia Stevenson, married a man named Charles Ford and had three children.  She died  9 July 1989 in Sarasota, Florida.

Mary Cynthia Ford, 55, Sarasota, died July 8, 1989.  She was born Sept. 12, 1933 in Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. and came to this are three years ago from Pelham, NY. Survivors include two sons, Christopher of Northport, Conn., and Carl of Westport, Conn., a daughter, Cathleen of Richmond, Va., two brothers, Richard Stevenson of Sarasota and Young Stevenson of Montgomery, Ala., her mother Cecelia Stevenson of Indianapolis, and a granddaughter. Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Toale Brothers Funeral Home, Gulf Gate Chapel. Memorial donations may be made to The American Cancer Society, 3807 Bond Place, Sarasota, 34232.

Cynthia Obituary

  • Stepson Richard Lincoln Stevenson died 19 April 2010 in Sarasota, Florida

Richard Lincoln Stevenson, 87, of Sarasota, formerly of Fort Wayne, Ind., died April 19, 2010. Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Sarasota National Cemetery.

He is survived by his son, Alan; children by marriage Mark and Marian Kennell, Karl and Becky Kennell and Kathleen and Jon Sutter; grandchildren Lydia Mortensen, Michelle Sexton, Erin Stevenson, Alex, Katie and Trevor Kennell; four great-grandchildren, sister Patricia and Ed Epperson, brother Young and Susan Stevenson; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shirley; a son David; a sister, Cynthia Ford; and a brother, Sherrad Denley.

Richard was just 19 when he enlisted in cadet school and became a World War II pilot flying in the Pacific. He flew a C-47 called “Gooney Bird” as a member of the legendary Jungle Skippers in the 317th Troop Carrier Group, which later became the 375th. He followed his retirement from the Air Force Reserves in 1956 with a 30-year career as an accomplished jeweler and gemologist. He was also an award-winning gardener, who could literally make anything grow, especially his beloved orchids. He will forever be remembered for his stories that touched the hearts of so many.


Celia kept in touch with her college roommate, Marie.  Marie’s son recently shared  his memories and photos:

I knew her (1950s – 1990s) as a very caring, wonderful person. She was very close friend, originally to my parents.  Kess trained with my mother, Marie Barlow (her maiden name), at The Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati, OH.
My mother, before she met my father, came from Grafton West Virginia, to Cincinnati to become a nurse.  Kess, my mother and another nurse actually shared an apartment near the Hospital/ school for several years in the 1920s.
Unfortunately, much of my info about her is from memories now. My older brothers, who have all passed, may have had pictures and a more complete history of her. But the pictures they had did not survive the years. I have little knowledge of the marriages, or children. (Back in the 30, 40s and 50s, children did not talk unless a parent said okay)  So the adults kept private issues among themselves. Later in life, she did talk about a daughter and son-in-law and their children, but I don’t recall details now. I believe Kess actually survived her daughter by a year or so. The daughter had a difficult medical condition, I believe. Kess died at a Convalescent Retirement home near Indianapolis.

Over the years, Kess came to visit when she could, but the last 20 – 30 years of her life were very difficult. Her mobility was very difficult due the pain, arthritis, I think. From about 1940s to 1990s, she lived in a modest apartment on N. Delaware Ave in Indianapolis, IN with a major hospital nearby. She worked there at one time, I think. I visited her a few time over the years. She came to Cincinnati for various holidays and events, including the funerals of my mother and father, for my college graduation, 1968, and later for my wedding in 1978.

She is buried in Section J, Lot 576, grave #8, Washington Park East Cemetery.

Kess’ grand-children could be still living. I am thinking also that they are part of the reason for Mrs Santa Claus. I believe, there were times when Kess would send small gifts or notes to children and others, anonymously.
Another thought about Kess, relates to her Garden. I believe she was a volunteer at the President Harrison Home. Volunteers would help with the Gardens, among other things, there. That home was nearby on N Delaware Ave. –



UPDATE: And the COOLEST part of this whole story???  After this was posted, Celia’s six grandchildren, three by her son Richard “Dick” who she gave up for adoption and three by her daughter Cynthia “Cindy” have  met online!!  Happy dance!  The best part of genealogy – connecting cousins!!

Error in Online Trees and FindAGrave

Several online trees have Celia linked to Curt Stevenson and Lydia Fullmer.  These are the wrong parents!  This Celia’s maiden name was Stevenson.  She married Frank Meals and died in 1978 in Pennsylvania.


Censuses (right click and open image in another tab to see a larger version)


celia 1900


celia 1910


celia 1920


celia 1930


celia 1940



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