Archive for the ‘DNA Discoveries’ Category

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!!!!” (click here for post about Aunt Natalie).

This post tells what I know of Jennie Ferguson’s life (click 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 and was living in a house in Billerica (no records in Billerica have been located – land deeds of Middlesex North are not online and I have not had the opportunity to visit)
  • If she is really the Jane Ferguson in the 1861 Canadian census (mentioned herein), her age was 4, thus she was b. abt 1857

jennie-ferguson-haines

Jennie relocated to Boston in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s where she likely was employed as a servant. She married there on 7 March 1882. Her husband was 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 (according to Mary’s diary).  The marriage record names Jennie’s 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 (the church record of this marriage has not been located).

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” [ship manifest not located].

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/Galatis.  Jennie named her first son John Glatis Haines.  Glatis is not a name of the Haines family, so perhaps it is linked to the Fergusons.

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

Other children’s names may offer clues: Ella May, Margaret Elizabeth, Minnie and Jennie (Edith, Alexander, John 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? Minnie has not been identified in records, but there was a Gordon family who resided near or next door to Elizabeth (Potts) Ferguson, Jennie’s probable grandmother, in 1861 in Weldford, Kent New Brunswick.

Jennie was Aunt Natalie’s (and my grandmother Edith’s) paternal grandmother, thus my paternal gg-grandmother.

1861 Ferguson Family

In Weldford Parish, Kent, New Brunswick, 1861 (census page 27), an Elizabeth Ferguson was enumerated with her “brother” Archibald and his two nieces, 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. Mary Haines’ diary circa 1880-1883 mentions her visit home to Weldford.

south branch

1861

Right next door to Archibald Ferguson 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 as neighbors, between the Ferguson and Haines families.

Two pages away, and thus likely nearby, in this same census (page 25), listed just after the family of Thomas Gordon, is Elizabeth Ferguson, of the age to be Elizabeth and Archibald’s mother, 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 in 1932 where he names his parents as William Ferguson and Betsy Potts, he writes that his mother had 6 children, all of whom were living.  If Elizabeth had eight children, 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.  Or if his statement is accurate, it is possible two of these children were not born to Elizabeth (a land deed, discussed later in this narrative, names children 2-8 as heirs of William Ferguson).

Side note: Robert 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 could be 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 that William appear on this date, if accurate he could not have passed six months prior to his appearance).  Jannet (Dunn) Childs, mother to Alice Edith Childs and James Childs, grandmother to William John Hains was 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

Elizabeth’s 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].

map.png

Weldford Scots.png

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

Andrew 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

Marriage

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.

1871

William Fitzgerald was likely related through his marriage to Jean Potts, probably a sister to Elizabeth Ferguson’s mother, thus William was probably 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).

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 his g-grand niece, 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), Sarah Jean (1919-1930)  and Hattie (1922-2011) before he died in 1923.  Elizabeth Mitchell mother, Elizabeth Mary Haywood was the daughter of James Childs’ sister, Jane Childs.

Jennie’s best friend, Mary Haines’s grandson Ralph Stevens, inherited a photo from Mary’s collection.  Sender is unknown. 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 her 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 may have considered them half siblings.

Billy and Bertha

I do not have a handwriting sample of Jennie, but do have James’ signature;  the “Childs” written on the photo differs slightly, James 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, however the handwriting is not different enough to say it the note on the photo was not written by him:

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 if there were one.

Hattie Childs.jpg

Maps

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 seems to have had a child named John Graham and she is buried next to Simon’s second wife Mabel Plume.  They could be 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 a maternal uncle.

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

map.png

Kingston.png

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?

Conclusion

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 October 2016 – We have a DNA match!!!!!!  The tree of a 94 year old tester, J.F., states he is the grandson of Archibald Ferguson, son of William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts!!!  We mutually match four testers who have not responded to my inquiries (one with a 56 CM match and three in the 20-27 cM range), three of them have no family tree and the fourth has a sparse tree with no similar surnames or locations.

The largest shared match (56 cM) has an Acadian screen name.  When I select “in common with” I get 10 pages of Ancestry matches (thus a connection to my mother and not Jennie who is on my dad’s side)!  Same with one of the other smaller matches. The other two matches and I only have J.F. in common.

J.F. shares 68 cMs with me across 4 segments on Ancestry.com, thus about 1%  (he is not on GEDMATCH so I have been unable to identify specific segments).  A match of this size would predict us being about third cousins, so second cousins three times removed essentially falls into this range.

J.F.’s other lines were reviewed.  He does have a number of French surnames, many of which are likely Acadian. We do not have any common matches back 5 generations on those lines. My mother is 50% Acadian, it is possible that we have common ancestors many generations back.  Given that we only have matches in common with four other testers (and I have about 1,400 Acadian 4th cousin or closer matches on Ancestry.com), despite endogamy, it is unlikely that Acadian ancestors back more than 5 generations could contribute such a high percentage of DNA and if it did, we might expect to see a number of smaller segments vs. just matching on four.

I have hopes that the tester will eventually upload to GEDMATCH (my mother’s results are there) so that I can further prove or disprove matches to my maternal Acadian line, and perhaps increase confidence this is a true Ferguson match.

UPDATE March 2017: My paternal uncle’s results are in!!  He would be a second cousin 2x removed to this tester if my theory is correct.  My uncle shares 183 centimorgans across 7 DNA segments. Second cousins 2x removed on average share 81 cMs, but the range (according to Blaine Bettenger) is 0-201.  dna test

The testers grandson also tested (thus my 4th cousin 1x removed and my uncle’s 4th cousin).  I do not share any DNA with the grandson, however my uncle shares 39 centimorgans across 3 DNA segments (average is typically 31 with a range of 0-90 according to Blaine’s chart).

One of Jennie’s grandchildren  has also tested and results are pending.

In summary, Jennie’s grandparents were most likely William Ferguson and Elizabeth Potts and Archibald was likely her uncle.  One of William and Elizabeth’s children was likely a parent to Jennie.  Although not proven, information seems to suggest that her mother might have been Elizabeth.

My Brick Wall – Brian Hall b. 1727 Bristol County

I recently attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Problem Solving Course.  The abridge course description:

Choose a project focus, ancestor, time period, geographical area, and research questions.

Under guidance from professional consultants, student’s will use a group collaborative approach to discuss research progress each day, utilizing the combined knowledge and experience of the group to solve problems.

Although I am “more organized”, I did not solve the mystery.  If you want to help, here’s the abridged version!

Brian Hall tree.png

RESEARCH QUESTION:

Who are the parents of Lt. Brian/Briant Hall, my 5th-great grandfather?

Lt. Brian/Briant Hall, a soldier in the Revolution, was born about 9 Jul 1727, perhaps in Taunton (later Raynham), Bristol, Massachusetts.  He married, 14 Nov 1751, Abiah Crossman, daughter of Samuel Crossman and Joanna Leonard and died about 13 Dec 1778 in Norton, Bristol, Massachusetts.  He is buried with Abiah at Norton Common Cemetery who died 15 Feb 1814.

Known children: Isaac, Nancy/Anna, Prudence, John, Brian, Abiah & Silas

BIRTH RECORDED:

The First Book of Raynham (Massachusetts) Records 1700–1835 (Online database: NewEnglandAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2003), (Handwritten unpublished transcription, transcriber unknown, “First Book of Raynham Records,” donated to NEHGS in 1897) lists:

Birth: 9 July 1727 – Brian son of John Hall 3d of Taunton & Mary his wife

See Ancestry.com: http://tinyurl.com/q9a3ddk

Brian's birth.png

The eastern end of Taunton, was incorporated as Raynham when Brian was about four, on April 2, 1731. The entries around his birth record date circa 1752/3. The entry is surrounded by other Hall families. Brian was married in August 1751. Thus, Brian perhaps reported the birth himself, about the time of his marriage.

As one is unable to recollect their own birth and because the records appear to be in the same handwriting (perhaps copied from an earlier book), the source and reliability of this information is unknown.

The 1733 Raynham tax list shows only one John Hall.

1733 tax list.jpg

The 1757 Raynham tax list shows a Brian Hall with a John Hall 3rd as the following entry.

brian tax list.jpgbrian-tax-list-pg-2

PUBLISHED WORKS:

Unsourced publications assert that Brian Hall was the son of John Hall and Mary (unknown) and name him as a descendant of George Hall, an early settler of Taunton, Massachusetts through:

  • George’s son John m. Hannah Penniman,
  • George’s grandson John m. Elizabeth King and
  • George’s g-grandson John m. (1) Mary and (2) Hannah Williams
  1. The earliest of these (likely the source of all others) appears to be “The Halls of New England. Genealogical and biographical”. By David B. Hall, published Albany, N.Y., Printed for the author by J. Munsell’s Sons, 1883. George’s ancestry is found on pages 567-648, with Brian named on pages 574, 580 & 581 (screen shot below) – http://hdl.handle.net/2027/yale.39002005232799

Halls of NE.png

In his preface, the author writes, “…My first intention was to compile only my own line, the Halls of Medford, but afterwards I concluded to embrace in the work all the records that I could find. And I have found much more than I then supposed was in existence, and still the work is far from containing all that might be obtained….”  Perhaps less effort was given to unrelated Hall families.

I surmise that much of this genealogy was crafted through letters from Hall families residing in New England in 1883 vs. use of original sources.

Richard Henry Hall, a great-grandson of Brian Hall, in December 1886 became the mayor of Taunton, Massachusetts.  The election may have given him reason to name himself (and thus Brian) as a direct descendant of George Hall (See page 730 – Our Country and Its People: A Descriptive and Biographical Record of Bristol County, Massachusetts, Part 2) or perhaps he really believed that he decended from George as did all other Halls in the Taunton area.

The concept of “John 3rd” likely had different meaning in the 1700’s vs. current day, and should not be interpreted as the third generation of John in that particular family. It may mean there were at least three John Hall’s in the area from same or different families, and Brian’s father John was the youngest of the three.

2. Excerpt from George Hall and his Descendants (1603-1669) compiled by Robert Leo Hall, published in 1998 [copy in my private collection]:

John Hall born 1694, in Taunton, Bristol County, MA; died 1766 in Raynham, MA. First married Mary (Ukn) and had children Freelove and Brian. He second married Hannah Williams and had children John, Hannah, Elkanah, Elisha, Joseph and Noah.

His source: ALLRED RECORDS in the home of Marcella G. Allred, 349 W. 3rd St., Lovell, WY 82431. I have been unsuccessful in tracking her work.

Robert Leo Hall is deceased and his descendants do not know what became of this cited source.

In 2009, a descendant of Marcella wrote to me: Aunt Marcella Allred passed away a number of years ago.  I am not sure where any of her living children are, possibly in Utah.  Aunt Marcella was famous in this area for the amount of genealogy work that she did.  Her maiden name was Graham.  I am assuming that she must have been related to your ancestors.

3. In “Brian Pendleton and his Descendants, 1599-1910”, Everett Hall Pendleton, asserts that Brian’s mother was Mary Brettun/Britton, daughter of William Brettun and granddaughter of Mary (Pendleton) Brettun Cross Morey, who married (1) Joseph Hall and (2) John Hall, descendant of Brian Pendleton, born about 1599, one of the early settlers of Watertown and Sudbury, Massachusetts who owned land the Maine and New Hampshire. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89069624344

Mary Morey left a will recorded 10 Jan 1732/3.  It is indexed under the name “Marcy Morey” in ”Abstracts of Bristol County, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1687-1745″ H. L. Peter Rounds.  In it she names her father, grandfather, husbands and grandchildren.

mary morey.png

The actual will (copy in my files) reads:

….Item – I Give and Bequeath to my Grand Children William Brettun, Abiale Brettun, Ebenezer Brettun, Pendleton Brettun, Mary Hall, Lydia Brettun, Sarah Brettun, Elizabeth Brettun, & Abigail Brettun,  all the remaining three quarters of my Real Estate lands Meadows & ____ which belong to me to be equally divided between them Only that my granddaughter Mary Hall is to enjoy her part during her life and after her deceased her children to enjoy her part equally between them and their heirs….

THEORIES

Is Brian’s father John Hall, g-grandson of George who married 2nd Hannah Williams?

  1. Brian Hall, son of John (with Mary) and John Hall, son of John (with Hannah) were born within 7 months of one another, if the Rayhnam records of birth are accurate, and the pregnancies were full term – either John Hall got two women pregnant at the same time or there were two John Hall’s in Taunton/Raynham in 1727 (John Hall, son of John Hall and Hannah is born January 26, 1728. Date based on the birth record in the original Raynham Vital Records, he was conceived around May of 1727, Brian was born two months later).
  2. Brian Hall is not mentioned in John Hall of Raynham’s will of 1766. All 6 of his children by Hannah are mentioned (including those who got nothing):
    • He left of to John Hall eldest son of the deceased all the aforesaid of five lots of land one small right in the old iron works in Raynham and two seventh parts….
    • It is stated in the will “Nothing is left to Joseph Hall son of deceased because he already got a gift in his lifetime of 95 acres estimated at 3 quid and 50 pounds”. and “Nothing is left to Noah Hall son of the deceased because he already got a gift in his lifetime of four pieces of land which are estimated at three hundred pounds the land being about 84 acres”
  3. All land deeds in Bristol County were examined (by me) for Brian Hall. There was no land exchanged between the two men during their lifetime.
  4. None of Brian’s children followed the naming patterns of the John who married  Hannah’s parents/grandparents.
  5. A number of errors have been discovered by other researchers in the “Halls of New England”, most of which were repeated in the book “George Hall and his Descendants (1603-1669)”. One example is “A Maze of Halls in Taunton, Massachusetts: Correlating Land Description to Prove Identity” written by Marsha Hoffman Rising, and originally published in National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 1993 which sorts the Samuel Halls of George of Taunton and Edward of Rehoboth.
  6. Y-DNA evidence suggests there is no relationship between the two men. As of today, there are four testers through George Hall’s son Samuel. One from Samuel’s son Ebenezer and three from Samuel’s son Samuel. None of these match the DNA of three of Brian’s descendants, one through Brian’s son Brian and two through Brian’s son Silas.  As of Jan 2016 one of George’s son Joseph’s likely descendants has tested and we are awaiting results.  If he matches Samuel this will further support the theory that Brian does NOT decend from George. No living male Hall descendants have been located for George’s son John and thus that line remains untested. Y-DNA of Brian’s descendant do not match that of Edward Hall of Rehobeth either.

Results here: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/hall/default.aspx?section=yresults  Brian is family #47, George is family #24 and Edward family #6

Is Brian’s mother Mary Brettun/Britton, descendant of Brian Pendleton?

  1. In 1727, the name “Brian/Briant/Bryant” was quite uncommon. It is plausible that Brian was named after Brian Pendleton.  Many years later, the 1790 census on Ancestry.com lists just thirteen Brian/Briant’s as head of households in the United States (even with indexing errors and the fact that other household members are not listed, this seems low and indicates the name uncommon). *Note that on a 1728 map of Taunton (available for purchase at Old Colony Historical Society), in the area which is now Raynham, there was a Briant/Bryant family residing next to the Crossman/Britton families could Brian instead be a family surname? 1728 map Taunton with names
  2. Mary Morey’s will is very detailed. Mary Hall is the only grandchild called out separately in the will: “Mary Hall is to enjoy her part during her lifetime but after her deceased her children to enjoy her part equally between them and their heirs” Although not direct evidence, this seems to imply that perhaps Mary already had children in 1732.
  3. There is record in Bristol County of Pendleton Britton and Brian Hall owning land together implying the two were associates and perhaps cousins?
  4. Brian was recorded as a cordwainer (shoemaker) in land deeds and Iron Works records beginning when he was 23. Mary Britton’s brother, Ebenizier, also of Raynham, was a cordwainer. Perhaps Brian was raised by the Britton’s and apprenticed with his uncle as a young man.
  5. In Raynham, 1731, a John Hall and William Britton are paid for supplying pine boards to the town.  This suggests a relationship between the two – Brian’s supposed mother was Mary Britton, William Britton’s daughter.  If John was a Miller with William Britton, maybe their kids married?

POTENTIAL THEORY

There is a John Hall who got land near Cobbler’s Corner (book 9, page 72 – an area which is now Mansfield) in 1715 it seems with Mill rights*.  He might be the same John Hall listed as an early Norton church member (a member of the First Church of Norton and witnessed the ordination of its first Minister, Joseph Avery in 1714). Wife of John Hall, Bethiah joined in 1716.

Then John Hall and wife Ruth record births of Bethiah 1 Dec 1721 and Benjamin 10 Aug 1720 in Norton (at that time Mansfield was part of Norton). So maybe Bethiah died, he married Ruth and named a child after his deceased wife?  In 1723 (not filed until 1735) there is a deed where a John Hall is selling land near Cobbler’s Corner, with Ruth his wife (book 23 page 494)

In Raynham, 1731, a John Hall and William Britton are paid for supplying pine boards to the town.  This suggests a relationship between the two – Brian’s supposed mother was Mary Britton, William Britton’s daughter.  If John was a Miller with William Britton, maybe their kids married?

There is also a marriage recorded of John Hall to Sarah Wellman both of Norton 7 March 1726/7. Then in 1730, there is a deed for purchase of land in Raynham by Samual Wellman of “John Hall of Norton, Miller” he also mentions his Mill, with a Sarah Hall as wife (book 25, page 116). Other witnesses include Benjamin Wellman, Isaac & Isaac jr Wellman***.

There is a John Hall, husband of Sarah who died intestate in 1736 in Raynham.  Others mentioned James Hall & John Hall yeomen.

None of these “Johns” appear to be listed in the “Halls of New England” book…  Unfortunately none of the John Hall wives were named Mary.

A Mary Hall who was born in 1699/1700 and is buried in Mansfield Cemetery called Happy Hollow Cemetery on York Street (Mansfield Vital Records).  She is called a widow when she died February 20, 1760 and her gravestone gives her age as being in her 60th Year.

**Halls of New England claims John Hall (a descendant of George) who married Esther Bell was the John who received the mill privilege in 1714 in Norton (which is modern day Mansfield) and that he lived at a place called Cobblers Corner…based on a review of land deeds this seems inaccurate.

*** Isaac Wellman died intestate before 1743 his heirs are listed as the widow Mary, sons Isaac, Ebenezer and Timothy and daughter Hannah.  A “deceased child” is also mentioned, it seems the other siblings are splitting her share – this might be Sarah.

TIMELINE

Note: Brian recorded 63 land transactions in Bristol County and several in North Providence, Rhode Island in his lifetime, all have been examined but not all have been added to this timeline yet.

  • 9 July 1727 born to John 3rd and Mary (thus conceived around October/November 1726 – Brian’s birth record was recorded about 1752) – record indicates  a Raynham birth, however Raynham was not broken off from Taunton until 1731.
  • Sept & Oct 1747 – Hewing Timber and working with the carpenters at the forge (one of them being Thomas Crossman) – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society], Iron Works records for the Taunton/Raynham area.
  • 1750 – Land purchased of Solomon Printice for 80 pounds by Pendelton Bretton of Easton and Briant Hall of Raynham; land in Easton containing 40 acres that was laid out 30 Sept 1713 to James Phillips of Taunton on the 50 acre division that lies near the land of John Selleson [?] also another tract of land that lies next to this land in whole 90 acres; land conveyed to Printice as warranted by heirs of James Phillips – witnesses Abigail & Katherine Leonard [Bristol Deeds 37:536]
  • 1750 – Living next to Elijah Leonard in Raynham, MA – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1751 – Owns a Shop – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society] Several entries 1750 – 2 in regards to services as a cordwainer.
  • 1751 – Account book kept by the Leonard Family of Norton; References a brother several times, Brian receives credit for the services of the brother, no name given. – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • August 1751 – married Abiah Crossman (Abiah Crossman; Female; Birth: 28 AUG 1726 Taunton , Bristol, Massachusetts; Death: 15 FEB 1814; Father: Thomas Crossman; Mother: Johanna; (Joannah Crossman has a sister Alice Leonard and parents are Thomas Leonard and Joanna all of Raynham – per probate records) Spouse: Brian Hall; Marriage: 1751; Sealing to Spouse: 01 OCT 1953; Film Number: 458137) Brian Hall and Abiah Crossman marriage Raynham 1751
  • October 1751 – Signs a petition against a new road in Raynham, MA – Raynham Town Records
  • 18 May 1752 – Brian Hall saw that the 2 calves skins and one dog skin which he brought from Swanzey today comes to 4-10-00 at tenor [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • September 26, 1752 – child of Brian Hall died in Raynham, MA  – Vital Records
  • 1752- Brian Hall – Distribution of Iron Shares [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • December 9, 1752 – Pendleton Britton and Brian Hall buy land in Easton, MA.
  • April 1753 – Brian Hall buys land in Raynham, MA from Alice Leonard, give several names including land bordered by Nehimiah and Nathanial Hall, filed 1758 [Bristol Deeds 43:115]
  • August 16, 1753 – son Isaac Hall born in Boston according to historical accounts – birth not located in Vital Records. The History of Norton reads:

Isaac Hall, Esq. (grad. H.U. 1775), was the son of Brian Hall ; and was born in Boston, Aug. 16, 1753. His father moved to Norton before Isaac entered college, and ever after resided there. Mr. Hall studied law, and died soon after entering upon his professional career. For more particulars of him, see Funeral Sermon by Rev. Sylvester Holmes. His tombstone, in the ” Norton common graveyard,” informs us that he was an attorney-at-law, and that he died Dec. 14, 1779, aged twenty six.  In the Providence Gazette of January 29 1780, may be seen a notice of him which says: “His learning, abilities as a lawyer, and strict adherence to the principles of virtue, rendered him dear to his friends, an honor to his profession, and highly esteemed by all his acquaintance.”

  • Historical accounts read: A year or more after their marriage and the death of their first child, they moved to Boston (WHY??), living there a few years, during which time their eldest son Isaac was supposedly born (no birth record located). Having purchased a farm in Norton, they moved there and Brian subsequently became a large owner and operator in real estate
  • April 1, 1755 – daughter Nancy Hall born, Norton – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • May 2, 1755 – Mentioned in the Account of Abijah Wilbore as receiving Iron – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • Sept 1755 – Brian Hall buys land in Raynham from Thomas White, 2 1/2 acres measured by Taunton proprietors – mentions Brian’s other property, filed 1758 [Bristol Deeds 43:116]
  • 1756 – Brian Hall – Ministers Rate/Tax Rate, Raynham Tax Records  [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 16 & 17 January 1756 – by 2 quarts & half of rum; buy 1/2 gill of rum [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 6 August 1756 – by 2 quarts of NE rum to you at ___[Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 10 August 1756 by 2 gills of NE rum to your workmen about hay [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 12 Aug 1756 – by 3 gills of NE Rum to your workmen [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 19 August 1756 – by 2 quarts NE rum to you at 26p per gallon [Old Colony Historical Society, Iron Works Account Book]
  • 1757 – Bryan Hall of Raynham for 240 pounds from John Gilmore land in Dighton purchased of Abijah Wilbur and land near the house of John Crane, land he sold to Wilbore, signed by Brian & Abiah Hall – witnesses Zephaniah & Anna Leonard [Bristol Deeds 42:507 – deed reads Bryan, signs as Brian]
  • 1757 – Brian Hall sells land to Alice Leonard in Easton, part of land bought with Pendelton Brittan of Solomon Prentice – 43 acres – witnesses are Leonards [Bristol Deeds 42:534]
  • 1757 – Brian Hall, Raynham Tax Records [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1757 – John Hall 3rd recorded next to Brian Hall in the Raynham Tax Records.  [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1757 – Last entry in account book, he is settling his account with Elijah Leonard – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • January 8, 1758 – daughter – Prudence Hall born Norton? – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • October 7, 1758 – Agreement between John Gilmore and Brian Hall – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • February 8, 1758 – Agreement between Abijah Wilbore and Brian Hall – Account Book [Old Colony Historical Society]
  • 1758 – Sale of Pew in Raynham Church, Brian Hall sells to Elijah Leonard his pew in Westward part of the church.  Witnesses: Thomas Crossman and Silence Hall.
  • April 13, 1758 – Brian Hall buys land in Norton: Elijah Leonard of Raynham for $240 lawful money sells to Brian Hall of Raynham, corwainer, a tract of land with dwelling house upon it – land description mentions land of Elnathan Jones, Josiah White, Seth Briggs, Cobb & 5 acres in Cedar Swamp mentions land of Thomas Shaw deceased, Joshua Fairbanks  – dated 31 Mar 1758 – witnesses Ebenezer Brettun & Ebenezer Brettun jun [Bristol Deeds 43:79]
  • October 12, 1759 – Brian Hall sells 114 acres of Land with a house, for £236 in Attenborough to Stephen Pond
  • October 10, 1759 – Brian Hall sells land in Norton, MA, to Elijah Leonard
  • 1750’s (??) per Old Colony Historical Society there is a land reference in Mansfield, MA, involving Brian Hall and a John Hall.  They are both pitching for the same piece of land in the 1750’s? Can not locate deed to which they are referring? –  there is a 1774 deed – Brian Hall of Norton yeoman (seller) for 2 pounds, 5 shillings paid by John Hall of Norton gentlemen transfers 2 1/2 acres of land in a tract of land known by the name Taunton North Purchase in Norton, Mansfield & Easton in Bristol County Common undivided land of said purchase bound on the East side from Moses Copland to Mansfield fur river (?) and by land owned by said John. And is ye 2 1/2 acres of land which Brian Halls house pitched for this day as may appear by said pitch if ye land is to be had in ye above described place and if it is not to be had these to be when me anyplace in common and undivided land where it is not pitched for to have and to hold said same. May 11, 1774, 14th year of his majestries reign King George 3rd. Witnesses: Benjamin Morey & Anna Hall
  • October 21, 1760 – son John Hall born Norton ? – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • October 3, 1765  – daughter Abiah Hall born Norton – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • October 30,1766 – Brian Hall buys land in Norton, MA, from Elijah Leonard
  • 1767 – Brian Hall sells land to David Manley
  • June 19, 1768 – son Silas Hall born  – – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • April 10, 1762/3 – son Brian Hall born  – – historical accounts, not listed in Norton vitals/births
  • 1771 – Brian Hall listed twice in the Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771, both entries in Norton (his son Brian was age 11).Brian Hall 1771 tax.png
  • 27 November 1772 – Brian Hall buys land in Easton, MA, from Alice Leonard
  • 25 May 1774 – Brian Hall buys land in Easton, MA, from George Leonard
  • 1774 – Properitors of the North Purchase to Brian Hall
  • 1774 – Jobe Hunt sells land to Brian Hall
  • 1776/8 – He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and according to published accounts  “one of the first to act and respond. He was also a member of the select committee of correspondence, to take into consideration the “Confederation of the Union of States” proposed by Congress, and also being on the committee to devise means for the formation of a State constitution”.
    • Hall, Brian (also given Briant), Norton. 1st Lieutenant, Capt. Isaac Hodges’s (2d) co., Col. John Daggatt’s (4th Bristol Co.) regt. of Mass. militia; list of officers chosen by the several companies in said regiment, dated Attleborough, March 18, 1776; ordered in Council March 21, 1776, that said officers be commissioned; reported commissioned March 21, 1776; also, Lieutenant, Capt. Isaac Hodges’s co., Col. John Daggit’s (Daggett’s) regt.; service, 25 days, in Dec., 1776, and Jan., 1777, on an alarm, including travel (34 miles) from Norton to Tiverton, R. I., and return; also, 1st Lieutenant, Capt. Samuel Robinson’s co., Col. Wade’s regt.; engaged June 18, 1778; service, 25 days, at Rhode Island; company raised to serve for 21 days from June 21, 1778; roll dated Attleborough.
  • Brian held positions in the town of Norton and was assessor the year previous to his death in 1778.
  • 13 December 1778 – died, buried at Norton Common Cemetery – Hall plot found to the right of the main entrance near the road at marker 126 behind a rust colored stone entitled “Briggs”.  Hall Stones in order are:
    • John Hall, died April 13, 1840, aged 79 years
      • Son of Brian and Abiah
    • Wells Hall, died Dec. 13, 1828, aged 19 years
      • Son of John and Dilly
    • Dilla wife of John Hall, died May 2, 1857
    • John S. Hall, died Nov. 27 1827
      • Son of John and Dilly
    • Silas Hall, died Jun 29, 1841, aged 73 years
      • Son of Brian and Abiah
    • Nancy Stanley, wife of Silas Hall, died March 26, 1833, aged 63 years
    • Anna, daughter of Silas and Nancy Stanley Hall, died Nov. 14, 1818 in the 22 year of her age
    • Prudence, daughter of Brian and Abiah Hall, died March 28, 1839, aged 81 years
    • Isaac Hall, Attorney at Law, son of Brian and Abaih Hall, died Dec. 14, 1779, aged 26 years
    • Lieut Brian Hall, A Patriot of the American Revolution, Died Dec. 13, 1778, in the 52 year of his age
    • Abiah, wife of Brian Hall, died Feb. 15, 1814 in the 88 year of her age

Brian Hall Grave Norton Common Cemetery.jpg

QUESTIONS:

  • Why did Brian and Abiah supposedly move to Boston after the death of their first child, did they have family there? Is there any evidence of this other than historical town/county histories and published genealogies?
  • Who is Silence Hall? “1758 – Sale of Pew in Raynham Church, Brian Hall sells to Elijah Leonard his pew in Westward part of the church. Witnesses: Thomas Crossman and Silence Hall”.  Could she be the wife of Jacob Woodward named as “brother in law” in Brian’s will and Brian’s biological sister?
    • I leave to my brother in law Jacob Woodward and Silence [?] his wife to them their heirs an assigns forever real estate lying in North Providence in the state of Rhode Island excepting only ten acres to be measured of according to Quantity & Quatily [?] which I have herein given to my son Issac.
      • Brian’s wife Abiah Crossman was a 2nd cousin of Jacob Woodward – Robert Crossman was their g-grandfather. Would this cause Brian to refer to Jacob as brother-in-law?
      • Mary Britton’s brother William Britton jr. married Sarah Woodward (daughter of Robert Woodward and Hannah Briggs) who was a first cousin to Jacob Woodward (son of Ezekial Woodward and Sarah____). Would this cause Brian to refer to Jacob as brother-in-law?
      • Who is the Brian Hall Woodward b. 1778 (year of Brian Hall’s death); d. 1798 and buried North Providence at Hopkins burial ground (grave #35) next to Capt Richard Hutchins (grave #36)? All other surrounding stones blank. (Rhode Island Roots, Volumes 13-15 – Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 1987 – Registers of births, etc) – could this be a child of Silence and Jacob?
      • North Providence land deeds for the Halls and Woodwards were examined the only connection seems to be:
        • Ruth Woodward in N. Providence deeds pg 199 (1748 or 1768?) mentions brothers Jacob & Paul Woodward and father Ezekiel (will A774, 1760 N Prov.). One of the witnesses signs as Mary Hall. Brian did not have any children named Mary.
        • A Providence deed from 1821 [book 5 pg 86] mentions a Jacob Woodward, Mary Woodward and Henrietta Hutchins selling land.  Brian Hall (Brian’s grandson through his son Brian) signs as a witness.  He later marries Henrietta Hutchins daughter of Capt. Richard Hutchins (the man buried with Brian Hall Woodward) and Henrietta Woodward.  Could Henrietta Woodward also be a daughter of Jacob and Silence?
      • According to death indexes for Silence & Jacob – Silence was born abt 1740 – 13 years older than Brian. So John 3rd would still be alive in 1740 if she is a sister! If correct, the age difference is further evidence that the John Hall who fathered Brian could not be the John Hall who married Hannah Williams!
        • WOODWARD Jacob, in 85th year, at Providence, Aug. 5, 1822 (birth about 1737).

        • WOODWARD Silence, wife of Jacob, at North Providence, in 76th year, Nov. 26, 1816 (birth abt 1740).

  • Who is Brian’s “brother” listed in Leonard’s account books? Full brother? Half brother? Husband of Brian’s sister? Brian debtor credit pages.jpg
  • When Brian died, why was Ephraim Burr of Norton selected as guardian to Brian’s minor children, Brian and Silas? How was he related or associated with Brian (or Abiah)? partial probate transcription here: willguardian.jpg
    • The Legal Genealogist’s blog tells us that Burr was likely not a close relative of Brian’s:

…..But when property was involved, the preference was overwhelmingly for the nearest male relative who couldn’t inherit from the child to serve as guardian. Even the example used by Blackstone points this out: “where the estate descended from his father, … his uncle by the mother’s side cannot possibly inherit this estate, and therefore shall be the guardian…… Read more here.

  • There is a Bristol land deed with witnesses signing as Pendleton Hall and Anna Hall who were they?
    • 11/27/1772 Brian (Hall)    Alice Leonard      Easton book 55           page 37

land deed

PLAN:

  • The article “A Maze of Halls in Taunton, Massachusetts: Correlating Land Description to Prove Identity” written by Marsha Hoffman Rising, originally published in National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 1993, mentions the Greenlaw Collection at NEHGS. This was reviewed in 2008 but should be looked at again!  COMPLETE JAN 2016 – NOTHING FOUND
    • The article also implies that Ms. Rising already reviewed Bristol land records, contact JAN 2016 – NOT AT NEHGS – EMAILED HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN MISSOURI THEY OFFERED TO CONTACT MARSHA’S FAMILY – FAMILY CAN NOT LOCATE.
  • Examine Church Records.
    • Raynham (1731 from Taunton) First Church Records – there are no John Hall listed among the member of the church.
    • Norton (1710 from Taunton) – There is a John Hall listed in early church members, his wife Bethiah joined 1716. John Hall and wife Ruth record births of Bethiah 1 Dec 1721 and Benjamin 10 Aug 1720.  There is also a marriage recorded in Taunton John Hall to Sarah Wellman both of Norton 7 Nov 1726.
    • Taunton
    • Mansfield  (1770 from Norton)
    • Other? Towns established from modern day Taunton:
      • Freetown (1683 from Taunton)
      • Dighton (1712 from Taunton)
      • Easton (1725 from Norton)
      • Berkley (1735 from Taunton/Dighton)
  • Examine court records PARTIALLY COMPLETE – ALL COURT RECORDS ON MICROFILM AT FHL EXAMINED JAN 2016.
  • Research all Halls in Bristol [then expand to Rhode Island and nearby counties] and related surnames/FAN club (witnesses to Hall deeds and will’s, neighbors on early map and in censuses, war associates, the Britton’s, Ephraim Burr, Jacob Woodward & Silence, etc.) in all Bristol County (and Rhode Island) records. BIG PROJECT! Define scope and priorities.
  • Land deeds – Just John & Brian? All Hall’s? Other surnames, maybe Britton’s? Have transcribed microfilm index for Bristol County Hall’s in Excel and have reviewed some deeds (online).
    • JAN 2016 – REVIEWED DEEDS IN BRISTOL COUNTY FOR JOHN HALL, BRIAN HALL, MARY HALL, AND NORTH PROVIDENCE RHODE ISLAND FOR HALL AND WOODWARD.
  • Trace the land described in the will of Mary (Pendleton) Brettun Cross Morey in Maine, New Hampshire and possibly Rhode Island (?), to determine how it was distributed and who sold it to whom….
    • COMPLETE – This was done at the FHL in SLC Jan 2016. Portsmouth and York land deeds were examined for all Britton transactions. Although Pendleton land changed hands, only James Britton was mentioned.
  • Research the genealogy of our DNA match Charles Rowland Hall (b. Poplar Flat, Lewis County, Kentucky). The match might be many generations in the past and research might prove difficult. Contacted tester Jan 2016 to see if he would add a SNP test which will help to further determine the potential number of generations between us.
  • Reach out to the Norton Historical Society, Raynham Historical Society & Wheaton College Library to determine what records might be available. CONTACTED NHS – THE DO HAVE EARLY CHURCH RECORDS FOR NORTON AND MANSFIELD IN BOXES ONSITE – SCHEDULED TO VISIT JULY 2016.
  • Review area town records on Ancestry.com. PARTIALLY COMPLETE JAN 2016.
  • Take a look at the nearby Taunton/Raynham Briant Family (Ichabod) – PARTIALLY COMPLETE – A VITAL RECORDS/LAND DEED/PROBATE REVIEW RESULTED IN NO CONNECTIONS WITH THE HALL FAMILY – there was another likely unrelated Briant Hall residing in New England in the same time frame, born about 1767 in Connecticut.  He appears to be a Yale graduate and the son of Amos Hall and Betty Briant. It is unclear if he is the same man who participated in the war of 1812.bryant-hall

 

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 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 this was my missing Celia Parry!

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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 family lore, 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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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Read details here, type Alice Phillips in the search box
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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”.

panel

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).

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

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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.
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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!”

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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.

Memories

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. – http://www.bhpsite.org

 

 

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.

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

1900

celia 1900

1910

celia 1910

1920

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1930

celia 1930

1940

celia 1940

 

52 Ancestors, week #9 An Unusual DNA Result

I will begin with my actual ancestry (in my opinion) based on the paper trail I have uncovered (using 32 3rd g-grandparents, sort of; I am making an educated guess on four of them and of course my DNA goes a lot further back than a 4-generation paper trail):

Ireland 6.25%
Scotland 1.56%
Wales 18.75%
England 12.50%
Canada (English) 9.38%
Lithuania 25.00%
France 1.56%
Acadia (France) 25.00%

In summary: 75% Northern European (48.4% UK & 26.6% France) and 25% Eastern European (Lithuania).

Last year, my mother, a cousin (a child of my paternal grandmother’s sister) and I tested our DNA at 23andme.

The surprise?? Add “trace of Native American” to the list!

My mother’s results: 0.2% East Asian & Native American on chromosome 14.

My cousin’s results: 0.2% East Asian & Native American (which could be on my side of the family or her father’s side to whom I am unrelated) on chromosome 9 and 14.

My results: 0.4% East Asian & Native American on chromosome 6 and 14.

I will admit that I know very little about DNA, but  it appears that I got .2% East Asian & Native American from my mother and .2% from my father. Since “cousins” don’t get the same DNA, it is difficult to assess if the Native American on my dad’s side is from his maternal or paternal line, without having other cousins test.  Although my cousin and I match on chromosome 14, it happens to be within the same area that I match my mom.  We don’t match on chromosomes 6 and 9, but it could be that we both inherited different DNA from our common Native ancestors.

DNA

My Ancestry.com DNA is a bit different, showing <1% Asia

DNA ancestry

FTDNA shows 100% European +/- .01%

DNA 3rd

Differences with AncestryDNA might be due to their matching base pairs while FTDNA and 23andMe match using centiMorgans. 23andMe and FTDNA use different minimums for cutoffs which explains the differences between them and 23andme. The differences usually don’t occur between close relations, so perhaps I do have Native American Ancestry on both sides but back many generations.

Then there is GEDMATCH (a free site where you can upload your DNA from any of the three testing companies to help get more matches – and it has some pretty neat comparison tools)- lots of choices, none of which I understand.  I need fit in some study time!  Here is one of the charts I created there.

GEDMATCH


Next, I read Judy Russell’s blog post about DNA percentages,  
http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/10/27/those-pesky-percentages/.

She says:

“Forget them. They’re cocktail party conversation pieces — and little more. The science just isn’t there yet to back them up”.

Bummer. It would be fun to claim some Native American DNA. Luckily I found her blog post AFTER I went in search of my Native American Ancestry.  My mother is 50% Acadian.  I had “heard” that many Acadians married Mi’kmaq Indians. I hadn’t found any in my line, and hadn’t contemplated that we might have a Native American grandmother, but based on the DNA results, decided to work on expanding those lines.

I do believe that I have found at least one Native American on my mother’s side.

My mother’s maternal grandfather was an Acadian, Pius (Paul) Roy(Roi/King).  The line descends from Jean Roy (Roye/LeRoy) dit Laliberte born in St-Malo, France about 1648 and Marie Aubois, half Indian. They were married about 1686 in Acadie.

There is quite a bit of controversy among her descendants as to whether we can claim to be of Mi’kmaq descent. Her daughter Ann’s marriage record names her as Marie “Sauvagesse” (feminine form of sauvage, which translates to indian) and doesn’t specifically state that she was a Mi’kmaq.

Roy news

One of my Acadian cousins  had a great point, he surmises  (shared with his permission): “Marie was married in Acadie and is presumed to be Mi’kmaq, as that was the tribe controlling that area around Port Royal, and because she is on that list of Mi’kmaq marriages. It is not absolute proof; she could have been a Huron, or even a captured Mohawk, who was integrated into the Mi’kmaq tribe, but even then she would be considered Mi’kmaq, as much as immigrants to the U.S. are thereafter considered Americans”.

I am still learning, but there are many blog posts and books discussing the relationships between the Mi’kmaq and Acadians, Wikiedia offers some history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mi’kmaq

Maybe a post for another day, but I find it interesting that many of my ancestors are intertwined throughout history.

The census of 1707 as per Delabat allowed the creation of a map that depicted the early families of the Melanson Settlement, along the Annapolis River, in Port Royal, Acadie , where Charles Melanson and Marie Dugas were the first to settle.  Six farms were included, residents of five were Melanson descendants [note: Jean Belliveau married Melanson’s daughter Madeline and Alexandre Robichaud married daughter Ann*].

My Jean Roy dit Laliberte was the head of household of the 6th home. He and sauvagesse, Marie Aubois, lived in a home that was set  back, near the forest’s edge, away from the rest.  Roy was not a member of the Melanson family nor related to it by marriage.  How he ended up as part of the settlement remains a mystery.

Melanson Settlement

Fast forward 200 years and 5 generations to 27 December 1910, Gardner, Massachusetts.  My mother’s grandfather Pius Roy married Laura Marie Melanson  – their 5th g-grandparents were neighbors Jean & Marie (Aubois) Roy and Charles & Marie (Dugas) Melanson!

The two lines follow (click to view a larger version):

Roy and Melanson

Perhaps not all that unusual. Pius and Laura would each have 256 5th g-grandparents (128 pairs) and for many years Acadians typically intermarried. But unusual enough given the millions of people in the world. The Melanson Settlement is 512 miles from Gardner and the marriages occurred in a time period when transportation had not evolved!

Notes:

*Research Bulletin #250, “The Melanson Settlement (1664-1755) published by Canadian Minister of Environment. R61-9/250E ISSN: 0228-1228

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