Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

A Sailor’s Story; the sinking of the Ticonderoga

In an undated letter, my gg-grandfather, William John “John” Haines writes to his sister Mary (Haines) Stevens:

Dear Sis,

….my son went down with the transport that was torpedoed, I regret that they didn’t have a fighting chance but were brutally murdered…..

Your brother John.

Letter to Mary from John

I have written of this son, my gg-uncle, Alexander “Alex” Haines, who died when the Ticonderoga was attacked in World War I: story here

ticonderoga photo

In that post, I quote my uncle, who surmises:

…There is no way of knowing exactly what happened to Alex.  My guess is that he was every bit as scared as we would have been but still did what he was supposed to do and probably a little more….

A few weeks ago I attended the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), a one week program offering in-depth study of material held by the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and College Park, Maryland.  This led me to Record Group (RG) 45, US Naval Vessels, entry 520, box 1391 and 1392 where I learned more of that grievous day.


A short history of the Ticonderoga quotes several survivors:

While stories differ slightly, a manuscript gives a complete account: “A Sailor’s Story, Comprising the Log of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga and an American Officers Experience Aboard the German Submarine U.K.-152)“, written 1 December 1920, by Frank L. Muller, Lieutenant Commander, U.S.N.R.F., Manuscript courtesy of Rev. Albert Muller O.P.  (a brother of Frank Muller) Dominican House of Studies, 467 Michigan Ave., Washington, D.C.

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Frank Muller writes:

Nearly the whole of the “TICONDEROGA’S” story is from memory as both the ship’s and my personal log is buried in the Deep…. [he continues, saying he was able to retain notes to aid in documenting the later part of his story].

…We arrived in Newport News about September 12, 1918, completing the third voyage of the U.S.S. TICONDEROGA.  One hundred fifteen artillerymen under the command of Lieutenant Frost, U.S.A., marched over the gangway.  The  TICONDEROGA cast off her lines, about to depart on her fourth voyage over there. We went from Newport News to New York to join our East-bound convoy.  Our convoy, consisting of twenty four ships and one cruiser escort, sailed from New York September 22. On September 28, six of the ships had been detached from the main convoy.  They were bound further to the Northward. The night of September 29, the last night in this world for ninety percent of the TICONDEROGA’s complement, was unusually dark.  The sky was over-cast, obscuring even the starlight.

With the first hint of day on September 30, 1918, the TICONDEROGA was found to be in the rear of the convoy, approximately four miles.

In his report, Captain Madison elaborates. He claims the Ticonderoga could not hold it’s speed the evening prior to the attack (which he attributed to a bad batch of coal).  The convoy pulled ahead, the night was dark and misty and by 2:30AM they were no longer visible.

Report of Captain Madison to the District Supervisor, New York, 24 October 1918:

Muller’s story continues:

However, not much time for an exact determination of the distance remained just then, for the moment after the shapes of the convoy ahead were made out, another gray shape, very low on the surface of the water, was sighted by Ensign Stafford, the Navigating Officer. Ensign Stafford immediately reported it to Captain Madison, who had been on the bridge the entire previous night. Captain Madison recognized it as an enemy submarine.  He ordered the rudder to put “hard a left” in a vain attempt to ram the submarine.  The bow of the TICONDEROGA missed the submarine by a bare ten feet.  With the very missiles of his gun against our port side, he fired the first volley from his two 6-inch guns.  Both shots stuck the bridge, reduced it to wreck, killed Quartermaster Hudson, who had the wheel, and the two seamen on lookout.  The submarine was then on our starboard bow.  About forty-five seconds later, it fired two more shots, which destroyed the 3-inch gun forward and killed all the gun crew.

Captain Madison put the wheel “hard a right” in another attempt to ram the enemy, but their third volley struck the bridge, destroyed this structure absolutely and wounded Captain Madison very severely; so he did not succeed in either attempt to ram the enemy. Owing to the steering gear having been shot away, we had lost ship control. The submarine was speeding away from the ship and also keeping a hail of shrapnel bursting over our decks.  For the next fifteen minutes, he had us at his mercy.  Our remaining gun, the 6-inch aft, could not be trained forward of the beam, owing to the superstructure and Sampson posts forward of it.  At last our ship had drifted around with the action of the sea and we commenced firing our 6-inch gun. The submarine was about two miles off.  About twenty five shots had been fired by the enemy, every one of which had taken a large toll in lives.

The shots from our 6-inch gun were striking all within a few feet of the U-boat, which was increasing the distance between us every moment.  The tenth shot fired apparently struck the submarine and he submerged immediately.  We ceased firing after dropping two shots at the point where he submerged.

Only one of the dangers had been temporarily removed when the U-boat submerged, for our ship was a mass of flames, fore and aft. All the wooden upper superstructure had been set afire by the enemy’s shrapnel. Besides, fully fifty percent of all on board had been killed or wounded in that first engagement of one-half hour.  It was about 5:40 a.m., when the enemy was sighted and about 6:10 a.m. when we forced him to submerge.

However, not a moment was lost.  One party of sailors and soldiers, under the direction of Ensign Stafford was detailed to clear away the wreckage of the life boats that had been destroyed by shell fire and prepare the remaining ones for use; another party, under the direction of Ensign Gately, was detailed as fire brigade to get under control the fire, which at the moment threatened to drive us from the ship; Ensign Riengleman, and his 6-inch gun crew stood by their gun, waiting for the Hun to appear above water. I, personally took charge of a repair party for the purpose of rigging up the auxiliary steering gear. Paymaster S.S. Magruder had established a first-aid station amid-ships during the first part of the engagement and was doing his best to relieve the shrapnel-torn youngsters of some of their pain.

Captain Jimmy Madison, whose master spirit had saved his ship and the lives of his crew six months before, was still the directing mind. Although severely wounded and covered with blood, he carried on. Never were men confronted with so many disadvantages and never was the spirit of “carry on” so well personified as it was during the last hours of the TICONDEROGA.

Captain Madison had ordered the wells sounded and it was found that we were yet in a floating condition. The pumps were started, both for the purpose of pumping the water out of the holds and putting out the deck fires.

About 6:25 the auxiliary steering gear was in order.  Captain Madison ordered the ship put on a West course. The West course would take us in the general direction of America, as it would have been useless to continue onto France in that condition. Besides, the West course aided greatly in getting the fire under control, because it prevented the fire from spreading amidships.

At 6:30 Ensign Gately and his tireless fire party had gotten the fire under control. Although all our wooden deck houses were burned to the level of the main deck, the fire was prevented from spreading to the lower holds and magazines.

About forty-five men were aboard the ship after the three remaining lifeboats had been launched. For these forty-five to abandon ship, there remained but one life-raft, and one small, wooden boat termed a “wherry”.  Both the life-raft and wherry were in a very un-seaworthy condition, owing to the effects of the shrapnel fire. The life-raft was secured to the center of the upper boat deck. In order to launch it over the side, it was necessary for the seventeen officers and men to drag it twenty five feet to the ship’s side. The upper boat deck was forty five feet from the water, so they waited until the ship had sunk low enough to decrease this distance in order to avoid wrecking the raft.

The wherry presented the same problem. It had never been used as a lifeboat and had been secured to the center of No.6 hatch aft, on the quarter-deck, for three trips. It could not be dragged to the side, owing to ventilators and other obstructions. Our only means of launching it was to wait for the quarterdeck to become awash; then it would float. The quarterdeck was but ten feet from the water, so we would not have long to wait. Still, it was a long chance to take; for the ship might have sunk before the quarterdeck became submerged.

As I mentioned before, seventeen were gathered around the life-raft amidships. The remaining twenty eight were with me on the quarterdeck. We were busy collecting wooden hatches, boat spars, etc., for those whom the wherry couldn’t accommodate – the wherry could carry but twenty persons at the very most – when a shrapnel shell burst over the quarterdeck. About fifteen were killed outright and a number of the remaining twelve wounded.  This must have been about 7:35. For the third time, at least, and in two particular instances, which I will briefly describe, I miraculously escaped death.

Muller explains he was in his room early morning, just beneath the bridge, when the first explosion occurred. He was impacted by the shell gas, but able to flee, only to find himself surrounded by fire.  He jumped eighteen feet to the forward well deck, escaping with a few scrapes and bruises. His story continues:

About the same instant, the shell exploded among us, a torpedo struck us amidships [the submarine log book has no record of a torpedo, see reference below]. The ship commenced settling rapidly after that. During the next few minutes, the quarterdeck became submerged and the wherry floated clear of the ship’s side. We had placed seaman J.L. Davis who had had his foot shot off, and two wounded soldiers in the boat. The remaining six clung to the sides of the wherry as it floated clear. The wherry filled with water far quicker than it could be bailed out. Even the three wounded man were forced to hang to the side with the other six of us. How their wounds must have smarted! But there was never a murmur from them. Davis in particular must have suffered terribly, but to all appearances, he was one of the coolest of the nine.

Our position at that time was a most dangerous one. The TICONDEROGA was rising and plunging heavily and with every swell, sinking lower in the water. As every plunge threatened to be her last, we prayed for our waterlogged craft to drift clear of the deriliot [?]. Our prayers were answered and we succeeded in placing one hundred yards between our wherry and the ship before she sank. Davis was facing the ship while I faced him across the four feet breadth of the wherry. He called my attention to the final plunge of the TICONDEROGA with the following words, “there she goes Mr. Muller, there goes the old “TICON” our home for the past nine months”. I turned my head to watch her sinking and answered, “Yes, Dave, she was a good home, too, and probably the last we shall have in this world.” Even as I finish speaking, the TICONDEROGA had disappeared beneath the surface of the Atlantic. She sank stern first, her bow high in the air and pointing toward the zenith. It is a solemn sight to witness the sinking of a great ship far out to sea, especially when she has been your little world for nine months. The only effect we felt of the TICONDEROGA sinking was a larger swell than usual. Apparently, there was no suction, for we did not notice any. All that remained of what had been a 6,000 ton ship, was wreckage, with men clinging to some of it. When we were elevated above the level on the crest of a swell, the life-raft could be seen, approximately two hundred yards away. It appeared to be crowded with men. We could not see the submarine.

With chattering teeth, we discussed the possibilities of our being picked up, fifteen hundred miles from both America and France, in the very heart of a great ocean, our chances were very slight, but the hope of a breathing human is always evident no matter how faint it may be at times. So we reasoned that the water would close the torn seams of our boat very soon, then we could hope to bail it out and put it in shape for our accommodation. The wherry had been turning over and over with the action of the swells. At times, it would be upside down, with the keel showing just above the water. When it would capsize in this manner, of course, we were forced to release our hold from the gunwales and scramble for a new grip on the keel until it would again return to the upright position. We had gone through this procedure about four times and was back to our original positions about the gunwales when we drifted among a great number of floating potatoes–we kept our potatoes on deck on the TICONDEROGA and when the ship sank, they floated off.

These potatoes were a great boon to us, for they would furnish both food and drink. Everyone seized a potato and commenced chewing on it. Then we decided upon a scheme for reserving potatoes for future use. As all the soldiers had four pockets in their coats we decided to fill their pockets with raw potatoes. I was busily engaged reaching out for potatoes with my right hand while I held onto the gunwale with my left. The first sergeant of the troops, who was next to me on the wherry side was stowing them in his pockets as I handed them to him. I was reaching several that were just beyond arm’s length, facing away from the wherry, when an extra-large swell capsized the wherry on top of me.

Muller describes his terror as he tries to escape, while his life preserver holds him captive and unable to swim under the boat to freedom.  After a few minutes, the boat rolled again, releasing him, but he lost consciousness.

The events which led to the sinking of the Ticonderoga end here.  We don’t know if Alex made it to one of the lifeboats, the wherry or lost his life from shrapnel or fire.

Details of the submarine’s log is included in “The Submarine Warfare, 1914-1918” by Vice Admiral Andreas Michelson:

The log did not note the torpedo shot which the survivors thought to have seen, so that the action was a pure military engagement. This occurred in latitude 43 5′ N and longitude 38 34′ W; the submarine firing 83 shells, 35 in the first phase before diving and 48 in the second.

Muller’s story continues.

At about 3:30 PM that same day he awakened, finding that had been taken hostage by the German submarine.  He describes the U-boat and the men he encountered. He was seen by the doctor, given whiskey and dry clothes and told to rest. They offered food, but he was feverish and too sick to eat.

For several days, the Captain, a man called Franz and others interrogated him asking of his background, the origins of the ship and the convoy’s destination.  Muller claimed to know nothing.  The ship surgeon continued to treated him and soon he felt better and hungry. His last meal had been aboard the Ticonderoga when Mcgruder’s men had given all hands a cup of coffee and a corned bill sandwich [Alex worked in the ship’s kitchen as a baker].

Muller later names and describes his thoughts of other crew members, including the Executive of the U-boat, Von Werm; Navigator and Diving Control Officer, Wille (who he dubs “a real gentleman”);  the Chief Engineer, Heine; the Surgeon, Fuelcher;  the Communications Officer, Swartz; and Ordinance and Gunnery Officer, Franke.

He describes Captain Franz as a 33 year old nervous man with a violent temper, with bravery approaching recklessness (having witnessed him attacking a group of three armed vessels on October 17) , Franz had been in the German Navy nearly fourteen years and had an evil side. He killed harmless enemies and subjected the crew to violent verbal abuse.

Despite this, Muller was treated well, perhaps because he confessed his father was a German who had come to America 50 years earlier.  On 3 October, the Captain invited him to eat at his table, a meal of canned brown bread, marmalade, butter and very good coffee, offered with white sugar and canned sweet milk.  His dry clothes were returned. He was given a dozen thin cigarettes and permission to venture to the outside deck.  Here he interacted with the scraggly looking, dirty crew, several of whom spoke English and had visited America, including his hometown of Oakland, California. He observed that most of the ship’s company, about 80 of them, were boys between the ages of sixteen and twenty.

The crew explained, after the Ticonderoga sunk, they were searching the loose parts floating in the water.  They saw what appeared to be a dead body, had roped it and brought it aboard thinking it was the ship’s captain.  The doctor pronounced the person “alive” and the crew proceeded to resuscitate him [in a New York Tribune interview, published 18 December 1918, Muller reports that he was ordered aboard “at the muzzle of the German captain’s revolver].  They confessed they had seen men anxiously clinging to debris and were sorry they were not allowed to save others.  Franz had ordered them to fire upon the Ticonderoga life boats; two with wounded men sunk.  Five shots were fired at the remaining life boat, however the 22 aboard survived.

The following day, the Captain informed Muller that Lieutenant Fulcher, the Assistant Engineering Officer, had been rescued from a life-raft;   The Captain indicated he would have rescued more souls, but had no room on the ship.

In a conversation with Fulcher, Muller learned that the submarine had submerged because the Ticonderoga shots had taken out a Gun Captain and carried away part of the rail on the forward deck.  Franz had assumed they were using shrapnel.  A vessel in the convoy had also fired shots, which came 1,500 yards short.  Franz’s intent was to capture the Ticonderoga’s Captain and Gunnery Officer as evidence to his German leaders they had “strafed” an American ship.

Muller wrote of the men’s work on the ship, them mending torn clothes, playing cards and checkers and of a five member orchestra which played German tunes as the men sang along while the officers “drank as much booze as they could put away”.  The U-boat made daily practice dives and on several occasions unsuccessfully chased and fired upon other vessels.  Meanwhile Muller and Fulcher played cribbage a few hours each day and lived for the days when the sea was calm so they could breathe fresh air and gaze at the night sky.

On October 10th it seemed as something strange was going on.  All 80 men were permitted on deck and the wireless officer carried frequent messages to the Captain.  At lunch the next day, the Captain informed Frank that all U-boats had been given the order to cease operations on the American coast.  They were 370 miles from New York.  Apparently the German government was proposing peace, on the terms of President Wilson’s New York speech.

On October 12, the men washed their clothes, took baths, and gave themselves “a general overhauling”.  The boat stopped, a smaller boat launched with the Captain and several others, who paddled along taking photos; several of which included Muller and Fulcher.

NH 44371

NH 2472

The next day, the wireless man told Muller in confidence that the German Army was suffering a number of reverses on the Western Front.  The British had retaken Cambrai and the Allies were making successful advances.

On October 13, the submarine overtook a sailing vessel; a Norwegian ship which they looted and then sunk after ordering its crew to the boats, who sailed toward Newfoundland (1,000 miles away).  Among the articles were a belt and life ring with the name Steifinder.

NH 2473


The submarine secured canvases, ropes, sails, flour and all kinds of provisions including 3 live pigs, a stout sow and two small sucklings. The cook killed the pigs immediately and served fresh meat for three days (the only time in their 57 days of captivity). From the haul, Muller was given a cap, pair of slippers and American newspapers and magazines (he had been bare-footed and bare-headed since arrival on the ship). Fulcher was given underwear and socks. The haul would allow them plentiful amounts of fresh bread and potatoes, for the remainder of the voyage.

On October 15th, the submarine went after an unarmed English steamer and was attacked by destroyers responding to their SOS.  They survived nine violent explosions.

On October 20th, the Captain announced that they were to cease war on all merchant vessels and return to Kiel as quickly as possible. They were only to confront ships of war.  The crew erupted, shouting, singing and laughing.  The captain felt peace was imminent and invited Muller and Fulcher for a celebratory glass of Rhine wine. From this point forward, the crew was allowed beer and wine on Sundays and Wednesdays and each got a daily ration of a half bottle of Cognac.

On October 25th they learned Ludendorff had resigned; October 27th that Austria had sued for peace and October 30th that Turkey had been granted an Armistice.  The Allies continued a successful drive along the entire Western Front.

The submarine continued, avoiding destroyers and bombing planes by submerging.  On November 3rd news of the Kiel mutiny and surrender of Austria leaked to the crew. The Captain paced, muttering to himself.  There were endless messages from the wireless room to his cabin.

On November 7th, news was received of Bavaria having proclaimed herself a republic. On the 9th, news was received of the abdication of the Kaiser [Wilhelm II] and of the revolution in Berlin. On the 11th, the Captain officially informed Muller that an armistice had been agreed upon by all the powers, which would take effect at 1:00 AM. At that time he and Fulcher would cease to be prisoners of war. They would be his guests, until such time he could get them to Germany or a neutral country.  The captain went on to say:

Mr. Muller, the cause that Germany has fought for during these four years is lost.  Our Allies have all deserted us during these last fifteen days. There have been mutinies and revolutions all over Germany…..When the big ships were called upon to fight and make one last offensive at sea for the Fatherland, our crews mutinied and refused to go to sea. Then they started to revolt, which spread through my country….and even now they are killing men on submarines who did all the fighting.  My country is ruined.  My King is deposed.  I am a brokenhearted man.

The submarine continued toward Kiel, avoiding mine fields.  They came across another German submarine a U-53 commanded by Captain Von Schrader. The two captains exchanged war stories on the megaphone. Franz exclaimed in German: “We sank an American auxiliary cruiser in the Atlantic Ocean with 300 American soldiers aboard, they were all killed”. The U-53 led them through the final mine field, they anchored and several of their officers boarded where they spoke of the war.

The U-boat continued, anchoring a bit in Copenhagen, then resuming it’s trek to Kiel which was then delayed due to heavy fog. They encountered a U-B boat, a delegate of the Soldiers and Workmen’s Council boarded and assured them that the conditions were again normal in Kiel.  He informed Muller and Fulcher that they would be well cared for and would get home quickly.

Upon arrival, the crew was mustered and given passes.  Muller and Fulcher boarded the Prinz Heinrich, were given real beds with sheets and pillows, had a bath (the first in 45 days), were given four bottles of beer and a package of cigarettes.  The next day, they were given a pass to visit Kiel proper where they walked the main streets and entered some of the better cafes.  Everyone stared.  The streets were crowded and the police presence high.  There were plenty of souvenirs that could be bought, but no clothing. Shopkeepers told them the Soldiers and Workmen’s Council had requisitioned all clothing to provide for the soldiers returning from the front and the sailors discharged from the fleets.

The next morning, they had breakfast with the crew of the submarine.  They were told that the crew voted Franz, Von Wurn, Heins, Swartz and Franke off the ship and elected Wille as Captain.  The submarine was to be surrendered to England.

After a bit of red tape, Muller and Fulcher were slated to sail on the transport ship that would be accompanying the submarines.  The night prior to their departure, Captain Wille and the entire crew invited them to instead sail aboard the submarine on which they had been prisoners.  They gladly accepted this offer, which included a luxury state room and an abundance of food.  They were given discharge papers and set sail on November 20th, eager to get home.  Fulcher had a wife and child [Ruth] and Muller a father and six brothers, all of whom surely thought them dead.

discharge paper

Upon landing in England, a launch came alongside, the German crew boarded and were taken to the merchant vessel that would convey them back to Germany. As the launch left the U-boat’s side, the crew gave three cheers for their ex-prisoners.

A second launch arrived and took Muller and Fulcher to the vessel Maidenstone.  Here they were presented to Sir Eric Geddes [the First Lord of the Admiralty] who gave them a hardy hand and welcomed them back to their own people. From there they were sent by train to London where a government taxi was waiting to take them to the Washington Inn, St. James Square.  In Burberry’s the next day, they ordered new uniforms. They enjoyed a few days in London and set sail on December 7th on the S.S. Corona. [spelled Caronia on the ship manifest] 2:00 AM on December 17th.  Muller writes:

…the S.S. Corona dropped anchor in sight of the Green Goddess that guards the entrance to the City Wonderful, where more than fifty homeward bound Canadian and American officers raised a glass of champagne and drank to Her, the symbol of Liberty.



Source Citation

Year: 1918; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2614; Line:20; Page Number: 67

Source Information New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

Original data:

Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C.



William Bell Clark, in his book, “When the U-boats came to America”, in the chapter “The Epic Of the Ticonderoga” offers yet another slant with a bit more detail.  Copy online – here  This version gives details of the men who were on the Norwegian, Steifinder.  After 15 days, one group was picked up and taken to New York.  The remaining men landed on November 5th at Turks Island,  British West Indies.

A slightly different version of Muller’s story was published in the New York Tribune:

New York Tribune


Coming soon… a version of the story from witnesses on the US cruiser Galveston and a court martial!


Frances “Frank” Louis Muller, USN Reserve Force, was awarded the Navy Cross by The President of the United States of America, for distinguished and gallant service as an officer of the U.S.S. TICONDEROGA on the occasion of the engagement of that vessel with a submarine.

Muller 1918.jpg

According to city directories, in 1923, Frank, a Master Mariner, was residing with his wife Irene in Houston, Texas. By 1928, the pair had relocated to San Fernando, California (no occupation mentioned).

By 1930 they owned a home on Mountain View Street in San Fernando.  Frank is listed in the census with his wife Irene, who is said to be born about 1898, in North Carolina. His occupation is recorded as “none”.  The census enumerator notes that Muller’s father [Major Henry Muller] was born in Hesse Kassel, Germany.

Frank died 23 October 1932 in San Fernando, California and was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery with full military honors. His cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis, nephritis and parenchymatous which he contracted in 1924.  His obituary mentions he was a Captain in the Merchant Marine until he became ill and had to be hospitalized.

He was of a large well known military family. Survivors are named as his widow [likely Irene] and six brothers: George and Harry of the Army Transport Service, San Francisco;   Captain William, U.S.A. Wichita, Kansas; Lieutenant Walter, U.S.A. Gainsborough, Florida; Captain Charles, U.S.A. Fort Worth, Texas and Reverend Albert, Antioch, California.





Junius Fulcher died 5 November 1967 in Norfolk, Virginia at the age of 91.


His obituary reads:

Retired Navy Reserve Lt. Junius Harris Fulcher, 91, of Norfolk, Va., a veteran of 40 years with the U.S. Lighthouse Service, died Sunday [Nov. 5, 1967] at 11:25 a.m. in a hospital.

A native of Frisco he lived in Norfolk 58 years. He was the husband of Mrs. Grace (Talbot) Fulcher and a son of the Rev. George L. and Mrs. Cynthia Stowe Fulcher.

During World War I he was captured by a German submarine off the North Carolina Outer Banks and subsequently escaped.

Besides his widow surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Edwin Ricket of Rockville Centre, Long Island, N.Y.; a son, Junius Harris Fulcher, Jr. of Houston, Texas; a sister, Mrs. Anges Styron of Hatteras, N.C. and 6 grandchildren.

A funeral service was conducted Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home by the Rev. Ira Austin of Fist Methodist Church. Burial with Masonic rites was in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Fulcher’s daughter Ruth was a Genealogist.  Her obituary reads:

RUTH A. RICKERT–Ruth A., age 96, died February 24, 2014. Beloved wife of Edwin Rickert, mother of Jean, Wendy and Allen. Grandmother of Michael, Henry and Thomas. Born in Norfolk, VA, January 3, 1918, Daughter of Junius and Grace Fulcher. Ruth graduated from Sullins College, the Maryland Institute of Art and Teachers College at John Hopkins. She taught high school art in Maryland. She was a leader in Scouting, the PTA, and an active member of the United Church of Rockville Centre, NY. Her art was exhibited and she published several books on family genealogy. She was related to preachers, farmers, revolutionary and civil war veterans but her most sentimental heritage was of the generations of Cape Hatteras lighthouse keepers. She kept a light in her heart for everyone. She is survived by her children Jean and Allen. Donations may be made in Ruth’s name to the charity of your choice .
– See more at:



My Family Owned Wall Street!!!! or Not :-(


Haines Family Lore

Family lore sometimes gets jumbled –  like the “telephone game” we played as children – one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Errors typically accumulate in the whispers, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly, and often amusingly, from the one told by the first, but might hold a grain of truth.  The game is a metaphor for cumulative error, or more generally, for the unreliability of human recollection.

A daughter, Annie Elizabeth (Haines) Morell (b. 1865- d. 1960; New Brunswick), of my 3rd-g-grandfather, John Hains, left a historical account of the Haines origins.  Within the transcription, my notes are within brackets [ ], as those points are not addressed in the blog post.

The first of our forebears Joseph Haines who came to America between the year 1620-1650 was a Dutchman a native of Amsterdam, Holland. He belonged to a firm of rope makers and incidentally it was he who brought the rope making industry to America and I am told that somewhere in the Haines family there is a piece of the first rope made in America. [These Haines men were certainly not the first ropemakers in America, nor does it seem they took part in bringing the industry to America. From the The West End Museum, Boston: …Just a decade after settlement in 1630, Boston had established its first shipyard big enough to launch a 160-ton merchant vessel, the Trial. At the same time, the rope-making industry grew right along with Boston’s nautical fortunes. From the mid-17th century to the end of the 19th century, the rope-making industry thrived in Boston…].

Young Haines had been sent with a cargo of merchandise (presumably rope) to England and while crossing the channel was captured by a French privateer but before they were towed into France an English man-o-war scooped down and capture both vessels and took them to England.

Those were the days of the press gang when men were sand-bagged or shanghaid and taken on board vessels. This was one of the methods of recruiting their navy and merchant marines. Young marines fell into the hands of the press gang and was taken on board a vessel ready to sail for the colonies namely America.

However on there return voyage when about a mile from land young Haines sprang overboard one night and swam back to land. He made his way to New Amsterdam as New York was then called as it was settled by the Dutch. He was given or took a section of land on Manhattan, he married a girl named Margaret Burne from Northern Ireland and raised a family. When the family was well grown he wished to go back to Holland to visit his old home and in order to defray expenses he borrowed money from one Edward Beaugardes a Protestant Dominick with the agreement that it would be repaid with a certain amount of money and a bushel of wheat per annum.  However the boat on which he sailed either going or coming was lost at sea so Joseph Haines never returned to America.

Eventually Beaugardes married the widow [Margaret] and it was (her) he (Beaugardes) who built the first Trinity Church in New York on what was originally Joseph Haines land.

My great grand father Joseph Haines was a United Empire Loyalist and came to Saint John with the Loyalists in 1783. He was a sergeant in the New York volunteers and being honorably discharged from the army was given a grant of land on the river Keswick and it was there that my grandfather Joseph Haines and my father John Haines were born [strong evidence of her father’s birthplace, as she likely heard this from him].  My grandfather married Annie Boone a daughter of William Boone who was also a Loyalist and a brother of Daniel Boone the celebrated Indian Scout and pioneer [Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania; he is not a brother to our William Boone, whose life was documented here, I have not found a connection between these Boone families, although it is possible they had the same origins in England].

When great grand father Joseph came with the Loyalists he brought with him a niece Charlotte Haines  as well as a daughter Elizabeth. Charlotte married William Peters and their daughter married a Tilley and she was Sir Leonard Tilley’s grandmother [historians do not know much of Charlotte’s early life and whether she was connected to our Haines, but the 10-year old who arrived in 1783, likely with her Uncle David, and the story of her slipper, later titled her as one of New Brunswick’s famous Loyalists; she was the grandmother of Tilley, a Canadian politician and one of the Fathers of Confederation who descended from Loyalists on both sides of his family – her story, likely part fairy tale, from The New Brunswick Reader, 16 May 1898, here and another examining facts here]. 

Elizabeth married a man named Whitman and their daughter married a man named Henington so she was chief justice Henington’s grandmother [there is no name similar to Henington on the list of New Brunswick Chief Justices; it is unknown if Joseph had a daughter Elizabeth, she is not named in his will].

The Haines family has always been noted for their honesty and their loyalty to church and state; open handed and charitable. Perhaps that is why the majority of them were always poor.

Annie Elizabeth Morell (nee Haines)

FullSizeRender (1)

Land on Wall Street? 

My third g-grandfather John Hains (Haines) in 1895 writes to his daughter Lizzie (who in 1890 resided in Chicago and in 1900 Boston and was half-sister of Annie Elizabeth Morell), that according to a New York Lawyer visiting Fredericton, York, New Brunswick, Canada in 1895, an estate valued at three hundred million, in the business part of New York, belonged to the Hains!  Our family would be entitled to a portion, if they could prove their heirship!!!!


East Boston
15 March 1895
Mrs Lizzie Higgeland

Dear Daughter

I take this opportunity to let you know that we are all well at present and hope to find you in good health.  I had a letter from George since writing to you and also one from Mary Stevens.  We had several visits from Alexander in one of them he took me to Gloucester on a visit where I enjoyed myself greatly he laid off for a week. I hope to visit Concord before going home I expect to leave here about the first of May as that will be time to repair my fences I think that after I get the hay cut I will return to Boston. We are having what they call a cold blustering weather here we had quite a snow storm here on Saturday but the weather is clear but windy today.

This Hains Estate is now engaging our families at present it seems that a Lawyer from New York has been to Fredericton looking up the Heirs to put in their claims he says that the estate is worth three Hundred Millions as it takes all the business part of New York but I am in doubt if we can prove our Heirship. They have the records down to Grandfather but possibly some of the old families in Nova Scotia may have kept the records.

So no more at present – I remain your affectionate father.

John Hains

letter page 1letter page 2

Turns out there was a land dispute in the early 1700’s involving 62 acres, that was granted by a representative of Queen Anne of England to Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan, at the intersection of Wall Street (Trinity Church has since sold off much of the land and today holds only fourteen acres inclusive of 5.5 million square feet of commercial space).

trinity church

The case is a subject of many books, newspaper accounts and other publications (just Google “Anneke Jans”):

In 1636 Roelof Jansen was granted thirty-one morgans (62 acres) of land in New Amsterdam which included parts of today’s Greenwich Village, So-Ho and Tribeca in New York City (note that the land did not actually include land which subsequently became Trinity Church).


Soon after arrival in New Amsterdam, Roelof died and his widow, known as Anneke Jans, inherited the land. She married second, Domine Bogardus and the land became known as the Bogardus farm. Bogardus reportedly drowned in 1647, off the coast of Wales, shipwrecked in a violent storm.

Anneke’s will mentions the acreage in Manhattan.  In 1671, her living children conveyed the land to Governor Lovelace for a “valuable consideration” (her son, Cornelius, was deceased).

Around the time of the Revolution, a great-grandson of Cornelius, laid claim to one sixth of then called “church farm”. He claimed Cornelius, had not agreed to the sale; therefore, one sixth of the land was due to his heirs.  Lore claims he took possession of a building on the property, built a fence around it, which the church had burned.  Later, the church won the case and he moved away.

In 1830, a John Bogardus, filed a case to recover the land. He failed; but the case fills 130 pages in the 4th volume of Sandford’s Chancery Reports, eessentially saying there was no case, people can not question property rights from 150 years in the past, when America was just a developing nation, otherwise no land would be secure.

Descendants of Anneke’s sued repeatedly and unsuccessfully for decades.

Plenty of dishonest attorneys, genealogists and others continued to encourage “descendants” to contribute to the costs of the heir association suits and likely collected millions from countless, very gullible, “heirs” who expected to be awarded millions in a lawsuit (even creating fictitious pedigrees to convince folks with the same surnames that they were related).  As recently as 1920, descendants were still being swindled (26 January 1920, Philadelphia Inquirer Page: 14):


Initially I surmised that our early surname “Hans” sounded a lot like “Jans”.  Turns out none of the descendants used the surname Jans or Jansen.  The children of Anneke  and Roelofs Jansen/Jans took the patronym Roelofs or Roelofszen as a family name and the children of Anneke  and Domine Bogardus used Bogardus.

It is plausible that the Haines descended from Anneke’ through some other line as they owned land in the same vicinity, about 40 miles from Wall Street, but it is just as likely that the New York lawyer who appeared in Fredericton was a con artist.  The positive in the story is that the letter written by John Haines and the historical account written by his daughter further strengthens the case that John Hains had family ties to Fredericton (it is likely his birthplace – see blog here).

The “Real” Haines Story As Written by Others

Our earliest known ancestor, and likely my 7th-great grandfather, was Godfrey Hans (Hains/Haines).

Estelle Hobby Haines inherited original family records (which I am attempting to track down) placing Godfrey on a tract of land known as Harrisons Purchase, in Westchester County, New York. Her historical account of the family was published in April 1949 – “The Haines Family of Rye and Bedford,” The Westchester County Historical Bulletin, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 45-55.  In the article, Estelle thanks Aunt Sarah Haines for preserving the information of the Haines ancestors, a written record passed on to successive generations, given to her husband in 1885.

Excerpt (to read the full article click HainesArticle).

Godfrey Haines, my first ancestor to come to this country, was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1675. When in his country’s service, he was taken prisoner by the Turks and with them traveled in sight of Jerusalem. They liberated him for some unknown reason, perhaps because of his youth. After his return to Germany, he was pressed into service again. The fleet to which he belonged was bound for South America. He was shipwrecked and picked up by a British man-of-war which came into New York Harbour. He found that they intended to make him fight against his country and so decided to escape. Accordingly one foggy morning he left ship, being a good swimmer, and started for land. He came to shore at Kip’s Bay (East 36th street) which was some distance from where the man-of-war lay at anchor. He went to a log house but there being only a woman at home and he in scant attire, he was obliged to retreat. Later he returned, found the woman’s husband at home, was supplied with a suit of clothes and directed to a Mr. DeLancey who was in need of a ship rigger and immediately put to work. His knowledge of rope making proved of much value. He was furnished with the means to commence business by Col. Caleb Heathcote, who became much interested in him. He became very prosperous and married a lady whose father was said to be a British Lord and who had come to this county with the Heathcote family.

[Godfrey is indeed first mentioned as “ropemaker” in a deed dated 1709/10 for a home lot in Mamaroneck, Westchester Co., New York, that he purchased of John Bloodgood, carpenter, of Flushing, Queens County, NY. – Westchester County Land Office, Liber, D, page 49]

Settling in the Town of Mamaroneck in 1709, Godfrey Haines moved to Rye five years later. He and his descendants became rope makers and large property owners on Budd’s Neck and in other parts of Rye. Their earliest extant deed is one of my treasured possessions and declares in beautiful script:–

“To all People to whom these Presents shall come Greeting Whereas James DeLancy and Anne his wife and Lewis Johnston and Martha his wife did for a valuable Consideration on the fourteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty, grant, bargain and sell unto Godfrey Hains in fee simple all that certain Tract or parcell of Land situate lying and being within a certain large Tract of Land called and known by the name of Harrisons Purchase in the County of Westchester – butted and bounded as follows that is to say Beginning at a Stake with a heap of Stones about it in the middle Line of said Patent so called Thence running south by marked Trees and David Heights to a red Oak Tree in said middle Line marked Thence Westerly by marked Trees between the Premisses hereby granted and the other part of said Lott sold to Samuel Miller to a White Oak Tree marked standing in the road leading towards the White Plains, Thence along the East side of the said road as the same runs to a heap of Stones which is a corner Bounds between the Premisses herby conveyed and one other part of the said Lott sold to Caleb Purdy Thence by marked Trees between said Purdy Land and the Premisses hereby conveyed to the first mentioned Stake where it began containing within the said Bounds by Estimation two hundred Acres be the same more or less-And Whereas Matthew Hains of the County of Westchester aforesaid Yeoman one of the sons of the aforesaid Godfrey Haines is now Intitled to part of the Lands contained within the Bounds herein before particularly mentioned and described. Now Know all men by these Presents that David Johnston of the City of New York, Gentlemen Heir at Law to David Jamison the surving Patentee for Harrisons Purchase afoesaid-hath released and forever Quit Claimed and by these Presents for himself and his heirs doth remise release and forever quit Claimed-unto the said Matthew Hains(in his full quiet and peaceable possession now being) and to his heirs and Assigns foever-“

Upon his death Godfrey Haines left each of his six sons a large farm [in the article, six sons and three daughters are named – Godfrey, James, Daniel, Joseph, Solomon, Mathew, Mollie, Tamar and Eleanor]. He and his wife are buried in the Blind Brook Cemetery in Rye. Their inscriptions read “In Memory of Godfrey Haines who departed this LIfe July 22, 1768 aged 93 years. In Memory of Anne wife of Godfrey Haines who departed this Life Feb’ry 19, 1758 aged 68 years”.

Godfrey grave


The History Of Rye, NY  Chronicle of a Border Town Westchester County, New York Including Harrison and White Plains to 1788, by Charles W. Baird New York, names only three potential sons:



I. 1. Godfret or Godfrey Hanse, or Hains (1), first mentioned 1717, came over from Germany about that time, and settled on the lower part of Budd’s Neck. He was a rope-maker by trade, like many of his descendants, whose ‘rope-walks’ were numerous in that part of the town. He died July 22, 1768, aged ninety-three. (Milton Cemetery) Godfrey, junior, was his son, and probably Joseph and Solomon.

1. Godfrey Hains (2), son of Godfrey (1), called junior, 1734, had land on Budd’s Neck, part of which is now (1870) comprised in the Jay property. He was drowned in the East River in 1766. He had four sons at least: Godfrey, James, Daniel and Solomon.
Gilbert was probably another son.
2. Joseph Hains (2), probably a son of Godfrey (1), was a rope-maker, and in 1741 bought a farm of seventy acres on Budd’s Neck below the country road and Westchester old path, ‘beginning at a rock within a few feet to the westernmost of the school house.’
3. Solomon Hains (2), perhaps a son of Godrey (1), had land on Budd’s Neck in 1739.

The book reads:

By the middle of the last century, however, we find quite a variety of trades carried on in Rye : such as those of wheelwrights,cordwainers, carpenters, saddlers, tailors, hatters, weavers, ropemakers, and the like. We are not to suppose that the persons so designated were employed exclusively in these occupations. They were generally farmers, who joined some kind of handicraft to their ordinary business, particularly in winter. The weaver’s or wheelwright’s shop was no unusual appendage to a farm-house a century ago.

As in all old-time rural places, these occupations were very generally pursued by the same families age after age. In one branch of an ancient family, for instance, the designation “house-carpenter” occurs through as many as four successive generations. Another family is said almost to have covered the lower part of Budd’s Neck with its “rope-walks”….


Most ropewalks were set up outdoors, sometimes underneath a wooden shelter.

The ropewalk method is described in the book “Handbook of Fibre Rope Technology” (the illustration comes from the same source):

“At one end, there is the jack, which has three hooks that can be rotated. At the other end, there is a carriage with a single, rotatable hook. In stage one, three sets of yarns are pulled off bobbins and are held along the length of the ropewalk.

In stage 2, an assistant turns the crank handle of the jack so that the yarns are twisted into strands by the rotation of the three hooks on the jack. Twist causes the lengths to contract, so that the carriage has to move along the ropewalk, under the control of the ropemaker.

In stage 3, the hook on the carriage rotates in order to twist the strands into the rope. In the usual mode of operation, the initial strand twist is made as high as possible without kinking. When the single hook on the carriage is released, the high torque in the strands causes the hook to rotate, and this, in turn, cause the three strands to twist together and form the rope. The ropemaker controls the production of the rope by continually pushing back its form of formation to give a tight structure. Meanwhile, the assistant continues to rotate the crank to make up for the loss of twist in the strands.”

Principles of making a three strand rope



Direct Line Ancestor

loyalist pedigree

Our family likely descends from Godfrey’s son Joseph and his wife Margaret.  In her account of our family history, Annie Elizabeth (Haines) Morell, gives Margaret’s maiden name as Burns.  In 1750, a Margaret Haines nee Burns acknowledged the signature of Alexander Burns, on a deed, in Rye.  Based on a search of the county’s records there seems to be just one Margaret Haines in that time frame, in that place, thus she was likely a Burns.

Margaret Hains

Joseph died in 1783.

Joseph death 1793Joseph death 1793 2

Just after his death, in a deed dated 1784, Margaret names her sons Alexander, Joseph, William and Peter (in her will she also names a daughter Ann Dorothy).

margaret's sons

We likely descend from Joseph and Margaret’s son, Joseph [who I will refer to as junior to separate the two], who married Elizabeth Saunders, 11 Sep 1767, in New York [the marriage bond records were heavily damaged in the State Capitol fire of 1911; while the bond of Elizabeth and Joseph’s survived, it was thoroughly singed around the edges.  The archives were able to reproduce a somewhat legible copy…”].

haines Saunders marriage
Joseph Haines marriage

Another document places Joseph (a farmer) Joseph Hains, junior, and a number of other Hains men, in the Rye area in 1771, when a group petitioned for a town fair in Rye, Westchester County so they could sell their goods:


To his Excellency the Right Honble John Earl of Dunmore Commander
in Chief in and over the Province of New York and the
Territories thereon Depending Vice Admiral and Chancellor of
the same,
The Petition of a great Number of the Principal and other Inhabitants in the Town of Rye in the County of West Chester,
Humbly Sheweth,
Whereas by an Act of general Assembly of the Province of New York made many years since, it was Enacted that the said Town of Rye should every year after making of said Act be Entitled to, and have the Benefit of keeping and holding a Fair in said Town of Rye, Once in every year, Viz. in the month of October for selling of all Country Produce and other Effects whatsoever, as by said Act may at large Appear; and Whereas Notwithstanding that the Inhabitants of said Rye never as yet have applied to have the Fair held, as by said Law they had Right; But now Believing the keeping of a Fair as aforesaid in said Town of Rye would be of general Service to said Town, your Petitioners therefore Humbly Pray for the purpose aforesaid, That your Excellency would please to appoint Doctor Ebenezer Haviland of said Rye to be Governor, and to have full power according to said Act of Assembly, to keep and hold a Fair in said Rye in the month of October next at the time in said

Act Appointed; and your Petitioners as in Duty Bound shall ever Pray Rye, April 8th, 1771.,
Sylvanus Merritt
Isaac Brown, Elijah Weeks
David Brown, Jonathan Brown
Philemon Hallsted , Solomon Purdy
Amos Kniffen , John Hawkins
Nehemiah Kniffen , John Carhartt
Nathaniel Moore , Ezekiel Hallsted
Zebediah Brown , Josiah Burril
Abraham Wetmore, Daniel Brown
William Brown , John Doughty
Gilbert Brundige, Timothy Wetmore
Samuell Tredwell , James Purdy
Roger Park , Joseph Theall
Charles Theall , Gilbert Theall
Joshua Purdy , Obadiah Kniffen
Hachaliah Purdy , James Hains
John Hains , Solomon Gedney
James Mott , Joseph Hains
Alexander Hains , Godfrey Hains
Joseph Hains, Junr
Jotham Wright , Jonathan Gedney
Caleb Gedney,
Isaac Gedney , James Horton
Jonathan Horton , William Ritchie
James Horton Junr , William Sutton
Gilbert Budd , Daniel Strang
Thomas Brown , Henry Carey
James Wetmore , Samuel Haviland
John Kniffin , Hachaliah Brundige
Gilbert Theall Junr , Benjamin Brown

The Revolutionary War had a devastating impact on Rye, even though no battles were fought within its current boundaries. Rye was “neutral ground” between the Patriots in Connecticut and the British in New York. As a result, Rye was subject to marauding and devastation by both sides. Rye’s population was divided between Patriots and Loyalists/Tories, with the Loyalists holding a slight advantage. Feelings ran high on both sides and families often faced divided loyalties.

Joseph Haines, junior, and many other Haines of Westchester were Loyalists; on 11 April 1775 they signed a Declaration with many others in the County of Westchester declaring support to the King (Westchester County, New York, During the American Revolution, Henry Barton Dawson, 1886 – New York, pg 72-73)
booksbooks (1)
Joseph, junior was with the Regiment of the New York Volunteers.  I have not yet fully researched his service; but a short history of the regiment can be found here. He is listed on the Muster Roll of Lieut. Colonel George Turnbull’s Company of New York Volunteers, Savannah, Georgia 29 November 1779. [Future research: Muster rolls for the New York Volunteers may be found in the National Archives of Canada, RG 8, “C” Series, Volumes 1874-1875. The muster roll abstracts can be found in the Ward Chipman Papers, MG 23, D 1, Series I, Volume 25].

Land Taken??
Godfrey’s likely son Joseph, also named as “ropemaker”, with his wife Margaret transacted land as follows:

In a land deed (Westchester County Land Office, dated 12 April 1775, book R, page 136).  An indenture was filed between Peter Ray and Joseph Haines of Rye and Margaret his wife, stating that Alexander Haines of Harrison Purchase and Joseph Haines are bound to Peter by certain obligation in the penal sum of 561 pounds, 8 shillings with condition written for payment of two hundred eighty pounds, eight shillings and six pence with lawful interest to Peter Jay on or before the 12th day of April next, for two certain tracts of land.  One on which Joseph Haines dwells in Rye, which he purchased of Samuel Miller.  The land description mentions the schoolhouse, Westchester Old Path, the land of Joseph Horton, deceased of about 70 acres. The second tract of six additional acres, purchased of John and Ann Guion, adjacent to land he already owned, also adjacent to the land of Henry Griffens, on Budds Neck on the Post Road.

In a second deed (Westchester County Land Office, dated 13 July 1752, book R, page 139), Samuel Miller (remember that name!) and Phebe his wife sell to Joseph Haines for 143 pounds, names the same 70 acres on Budd’s Neck.

In a third deed (Westchester County Land Office, dated 13 July 1752, book R, page 141),  John and Ann Guion his wife sell to Joseph Haines for 20 pounds, names the same six acres on Budd’s Neck.

All three documents were recorded years later, 26 Sep 1814. Why?

It was not unusual for deeds to be filed at later dates. Many executed deeds were held by the family who could not afford or did not wish to pay the filing fees. They were typically recorded when the land was later sold.

Joseph Haines died in Rye in 1793.  Margaret died in 1812 in Rye; she only names her son Peter and daughter Ann Dorothy in her will. The recording was likely due to Margaret’s death so the land could be sold. However, I found no later land transactions for this acreage.

Why weren’t the others named in her will? After the Revolution, her son Joseph junior’s family settled in New Brunswick and Alexander with his wife Clarina and their children in Sissiboo (now Weymouth), Digby County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Nothing is known of her son William.

margaret's death

1867 & 1868 map of the area where the Haines might have resided in Rye/Harrison’s Precinct, Westchester County

There were at least three Haines who were property owners on these maps – J. Haines, George (later map Peter) Haines and D.M. Haines.  Based on later land descriptions, the property in the same area of George/Peter/D. M. Haines likely belonged to my direct ancestors.  It names all the same landmarks as mentioned in the land deeds – it is near a school and the Post Road, there is land owned by Guion (from whom Joseph later purchased six additional acres) and it is on Rye’s Neck, which had previously been called Budd’s Neck. The Miles and Mill families are nearby, the names are close enough in spelling to Miller to suggest a connection (special shout out and thanks to the Rye Historical Society who helped identify the land location!!).

Without tracing the deeds forward, it appears that the property was in the vicinity of what today is Tompkins Avenue, Mamaroneck, New York, between the blocks of Melbourne Ave and Beach Ave.



1868 map

2015 map

Joseph, junior’s Claim
Joseph Junior had land taken from him at the time of the Revolution.  In his claim he names land as “Harrison’s Precinct, Westchester County”,  which he purchased of his brother [Alexander], about 1773; likely the same area where his Grandfather Godfrey owned land [recall that Alexander of Harrison’s Purchase was named in the earlier deed with Joseph and Margaret].  A witness verifies his story and further states: “Joseph had the Character of being very Industrious and supported himself by farming. He and his family were very Loyal”.  Joseph asked for £650 NY Currency and was eventually awarded £60 Sterling and land in New Brunswick.


To The Honourable The Commissioners

appointed to examine the Claims of Persons

who have suffered in their Rights, Properties

& Professions during the late unhappy

dissensions in America, in consequence of

their Loyalty to His Majesty, and

Attachment to the British Government &c.

&c. &c.

Joseph Haynes late of West Chester County in the province of New York now of York

County in the province of New-Brunswick

Most humbly shews

That He has ever been a true and faithful subject to his Majesty, and that in the

beginning of the late dissensions He was persecuted & abused, and he availed himself of

the earliest opportunity to join the British Army. And in August 1776, he effected his

purpose and entered into the Regiment of New-York Volunteers, & served in that Corps

until it was disbanded in October 1783. That your Memorialist owned a comfortable

Farm of the value of Four hundred pounds N. York Cury. and had of his own – Stock –

Farming Utensils & other articles to the amount of Two hundred & fifty pounds – of all

which (in consequence of his joining the British Troops) his Family were dispossessed –

and the same was wasted – or sold by authority – so that your memorialist has never

received a farthing’s benefit therefrom. And he now is reduced to great distress – after

long & faithful services. He therefore humbly hopes that the Honourable Commissioners

will take his case into consideration and grant him leave to attend them in New

Brunswick, & to produce his evidences of the Facts herein alleged. And that they would

afford him such relief as they may think right. And as in duty bound shall pray &c.

Joseph Hains

Fredericton March 28th 1786.


Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 13, folio 190.

St. Mary’s 15th Jany. 87


I have the Honor to inform the Commissioners through you that from the 15th July to the 20th of October I was on Duty with my Regt. at New York & at Sea and was discharged the 20th – since which Period I have resided in the Parish & County aforesaid.

I have the Honor to be with Great Respect

Your Most Obt.

hum. Ser.

Joseph Haines

Peter Hunter Esq.




St John 20th March 1787

Evidence on the Claim of Joseph Haines

Late of New York

Claimant Sworn

Says he came in 1783, was disbanded in October, w, 26.12 p acre went up the River immediately, staid there all the Winter.

Produces his Discharge from New York Volunteers 10th October 1783.

Lived in Westchester County, joined the British in 1776, enlisted in New York Volunteers, Served during the war.

Had 50 acres in Harrison’s Precinct, Westchester County, purchased about three years before the War of his brother, £6..12 p acre; had a Deed, produces a letter from his Mother in the State of New York mentioning the Deed of his Farm, but she doesn’t send it not having time to take a Copy.

Built a framed House, improved the Estate, about 30 acres clear, values it at £9 p acre.

One William Miller has taken possession of it.  Claimant did not owe him anything.  Says he may pretend some Rights in consequence of a Bond Claim and had given to appear before Congress ___  Miller was Deputy Chairman.

Lost a Mare, 2 colts, 3 Cows, 2 Heifers, Farming utensils, Furniture.


Timothy Witmore Sworn

Says he knows the Claimant’s Farm it was in Harrison Precinct, Witness surveyed it for him about 15 years ago, he bought it of his brother – Remember Claimant continuing his possession of it – Values it at £8 p acre.

A good deal of Meadow, thinks 2/3rd of it were clear.

He had the Character of being very Industrious and supported himself by farming.

He and his family were very Loyal.

Miller was Chairman of the Committee, lived in that Neighborhood, has no doubts but that Miller has it.

page 1 claimpage 2 claimpage 3 claim

amount claimed 2amount claimed 3amount claimed 4amount claimed

Land Grants in New Brunswick

A number of petitions for land were filed by Joseph Haines [copies of the actual grants are on order and will be posted at a later date].  He was awarded at least 242 acres.

Joseph Haines Land Grants

Haines NB Land grant

Haines NB Land grant2

A number of Haines land deeds were also recorded in York County, New Brunswick:

Haines deeds York

William Miller, Who Reportedly Took the Haines Land

The Miller’s and Haines had prior interactions.  Joseph senior,  reportedly bought from Samuel Miller, in 1741, the first Miller family homestead in Rye and then in 1814 purchased land of Samuel Miller on Budd’s Neck [Sept 26 1814; R 139]. There were other land transactions, the families lived in close proximity and were likely friends or acquaintances.

William Miller, however, was notorious (in the eyes of Westchester County Loyalists) Deputy Chairman (later Chairman) of the Westchester County Committee accused of being responsible, with the Thomases, for much of the obnoxious revolutionary actions against Loyalists.

For Example:

The Petition of fifteen Prisoners confined in the Jail at White-Plains, presented by Mr˙ Miller, Deputy Chairman of Westchester County, wherein they represent that they are confined as persons dangerous to the safety of the State, and being desirous of being enlarged, they are willing to bind themselves either to aid in repelling the enemies of the State when necessary, or surrender themselves into the custody of any Jailer, as this or any future Convention or Legislature may direct, was read.

Whereupon Mr˙ Miller was called in and examined as to the said fifteen Prisoners, and testified in regard to them respectively, as follows, viz: Joshua Purdy has never been friendly to the American cause, is a man of influence, and towards whom lenity would be advisable. Gabriel Purdy has acted unfriendly to the cause of America. Caleb Morgan he does not know, but has heard he is a Tory. Of Wm˙ Barker, John McCord, John Bailey, Bartw˙ Haynes, and Joseph Purdy, he knows nothing favourable. Gilbert Horton is a man of no influence. Isaac Browne has been neutral. Josiah Browne says he will join in the defence of the State, and has generally understood that he was a Whig. Edmund Ward he don’ t know. Samuel Merrit has been active against, and Jonathan Purdyhas been publickly inciting others to act against us. And as to Philip Fowler, he is reputed a bad man.

Interesting Developments

(1) A land deed dated 1799 [Westchester County, book M, page 362] shows our Joseph, junior (of New Brunswick) selling about 20 acres of land at Harrison, New York for $500 to Joseph Carpenter.  The deed claims that it is the same land which he purchased of his brother Alexander Haines and wife Clarina on 17 June 1773 [I have not found a copy of the 1773 deed].

What?  This sounds like the land that William Miller reportedly took illegally, on which Joseph filed a claim!

Interesting that William Miller seems to have verified Joseph’s identity (Is that what the last section means? – any lawyers out there?).

Did Joseph really travel from New Brunswick to New York to sell the land? or did Miller illegally sell the land and pocket the cash? What happened to the other 30 acres? (Joseph claimed to own 50? – I have examined William Miller’s deeds in Westchester County from that time period and nothing in Harrison was sold under that name in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s).


(2) Alexander Haines, likely Joseph’s brother (who is called “ropemaker” and named “son of Joseph” – whoop, whoop!) purchased 100 acres in Harrison; Joseph Miller and his wife Tamer, held the mortgage for 687 pounds, ten shillings.  In 1765 Miller claimed the debt had been satisfied (however, the deed was filed eighteen years later 28 Oct 1783 – Book I, pg 193 Westchester).

Had Joseph already left for New Brunswick or was this filed before he left? – his unit disbanded in October 1783 and he says he immediately left for Canada.  Was this deed for the same land that Miller reportedly took from him? In Joseph’s claim he says, “One William Miller has taken possession of it.  Claimant did not owe him anything.  Says he may pretend some Rights in consequence of a Bond Claim and had given to appear before Congress”.



Joseph Haines, junior probate

The will of Joseph Hains, dated 20 March 1827 was filed in the Parish of Douglas, York County,

Early New Brunswick Probate Records 1785-1835
by R Wallace Hale, on page 192

Eldest son Peter £5 and use for life of Lot 18 on Keswick Creek, originally granted to Peter McLARREN, and at his death the Lot to be divided between my grandsons George HAINS and Israel HAINS, the sons of Peter HAINS. Second son Robert use for life of Lot 10 originally granted to Robert McCARGAR, and at his death the Lot to be divided between my grandsons Joseph HAINS and William HAINS, the sons of Peter HAINS, reserving a maintenance for my grand-daughter Jane HAINS, daughter of son Robert. Should Robert’s wife Amy survive him, she to have the privilege of dwelling on Lot 10 while widow. Third son Joseph use of residue of estate for life, and at his death to be divided among the male issue of son Joseph born of the body of Nancy BOONE alias HAINS Wife of my son Joseph. Son Joseph HAINS sole executor. Witnesses: Thomas WHITE, David MOREHOUSE, William Henry Boyer ADAIR.

boone map

The Lesson of James A. Wilson – There Are Exceptions to Every Rule!


Two things happened yesterday. posted a nifty “cheat sheet” which can be used to determine if your ancestors served in one of the US conflicts back to the Revolution.


Second, a third cousin, in my Wilson line, contacted me through asking to compare notes, which prompted me to review the pending “shaky leaves” for that line.

A Find-A-Grave hint popped up for James Alexander Wilson, my 2nd-great uncle and brother to my 2nd g-grandmother, Roxanna “Anna” Aurelia (Wilson) Hall (her story here).

family tree

Attached to this Mount Hope Cemetery grave record was a photo referring to 11th Regiment Massachusetts [Light] Battery.  A Google search revealed that this was a Civil War unit “Organized at Readville and mustered in for three years January 2, 1864 … Mustered out June 16, 1865″


The chart reads: “Civil War birth years 1811-1848”. Another mistake in my tree!  My James died on 14 Sept 1886, which matches the Find-A-Grave entry, but I recorded his birth at St. John, New Brunswick, on 27 February 1850, thus implying an age of fourteen in 1864. Did I have the wrong birth date?

I re-reviewed the records, most concurred – James was born in 1850!  Was it possible a 14 year old served in the Civil War?

At bit of research revealed at least 100,000 Union soldiers were boys under 15 years old and about 20 percent of all Civil War soldiers were under 18. Many lied about their age to join. As the casualties grew and more soldiers were needed, recruiters looked the other way. The exact number of children who enlisted during the Civil War is unknown, but it is known that 48 soldiers who were under the age of 18 won the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery and service.

Census/Marriage/Death Records Analyzed for Birth Year

No birth/baptism has been located at St John for James Wilson.

In 1851, a one year old James Wilson was enumerated with his parents, David and Elizabeth, in Saint John County, Dukes and Queens Wards,

1851 census

The 1855 Massachusetts Boston, Ward 03, census reports his age as five.


In 1860, he was enumerated in Boston Ward 3 as age ten.

1860 census

In 1865, he was residing in Boston Ward 3, listed as age 16.


He was 20 in 1870 when enumerated in Boston Ward 4.

1870 census

He was 21 when he married Susan “Susie” Jane Perkins, daughter of George Perkins and Margaret Taylor on 17 May 1871 in Boston.


He was listed as age 34 in the 1880 Boston census (the only record which implies a birth in 1846 – note that his parents were married in 1847 – their story here).


When James Naturalized in 1882, he gave a birth date of 27 February 1850.


A signature comparison (beautiful handwriting for a 14 year old!) confirms that the James Wilson who joined the Civil War and the James Wilson who applied for Naturalization are likely the same man.


fe59703e-bf46-4489-b186-a275f01b547b f3585473-252e-40ef-89ab-3e2d0b15afe7

James’ Massachusetts death entry dated 14 September 1886 lists his age as 36 years, 6 months, 14 days (implying a birth of 28 Feb 1850).  Cause of death was Consumption. The newspaper notice of his death also lists an age of 36.



Side Note: James was a Fresco Painter – I have not uncovered any information specifically related to his work. Given his beautiful handwriting, I wonder where he was educated, his mother was unable to write, thus he must have had schooling in this craft.  An article published in Massachusetts, in that time frame, describes the study:


Fold 3- CMSR for James

Fold 3 has digitized the Massachusetts Compiled Military Service Records.  Although James Wilson is a common name, knowing he served in the 11th Regiment Massachusetts Battery helped in locating the record. In his file, was a volunteer enlistment form, dated 2 December 1864, with a claim that he was seventeen and ten months.  The form includes minor consent from his father.

The enlistment occurred in Cambridge (the family resided in Boston, perhaps he intentionally enlisted in a place where he would not be known?) and James was described 5’4″ tall (quite short for an almost 18 year old).  He was given a $33 recruitment bounty in exchange for a one year commitment (the family was quite poor and likely needed the funds). His pay was later docked for loss of Clothing Camp and Garrison equipage (typical kid ?).

Fold3_Page_10_Compiled_Service_Records_of_Volunteer_Union_Soldiers_Who_Served_in_Organizations_from_the_State_of_Massachusetts Fold3_Page_9_Compiled_Service_Records_of_Volunteer_Union_Soldiers_Who_Served_in_Organizations_from_the_State_of_Massachusetts



Pension Search

Whenever I find a Veteran, I check for a pension file.  The pension laws changed frequently not everyone who participated was entitled.  A good place to start in understanding Civil War pensions is the Family Search Wiki – here.

There are two indexes, one on Fold3 and the other on Ancestry.  They can differ.’s  “U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934” (NARA T288) tells us that James’ widow Susan applied, and received a pension.

pension card

Fold 3’s Civil War Pensions Index (officially called the “Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900”; NARA T289) lists a widow’s pension and mother’s pension (the lack of certificate number means that the mother’s pension request was denied).

Fold3_Wilson_James_A_Organization_Index_to_Pension_Files_of_Veterans_Who_Served_Between_1861_and_1900 (1)

National Archives

This morning I headed to the National Archives in DC and placed my request for these two files.  If you ask that the file be delivered to the new Innovation Hub, not only do you avoid having to wait for a specific pull time (they pull it right away for you) but you can use their scanners for free and once scanned the digitized documents are posted on NARAs website for others to find.  If you don’t live near the Archives, you can place a request online (the fee is $80 for the first 100 pages – order here).

The two pension requests were consolidated into one file.  Nothing in the file mentions James’ enlistment age and the death certificate in the file implies a birth in 1850.


It seems that James’ mother, Elizabeth, age 70, who was unable to sign her name, applied for a pension in 1890 saying that her son was unmarried, without children and prior to his death she relied on him for some support.

Her witnesses included, Elizabeth’s daughter, my 2nd g-grandmother, “Anna” aka Roxanna (Wilson) Hall and Anna’s sister-in-law, Mary (Hall) Patten.  Elizabeth was residing in Everett, the address was c/o Charles Baker, Simpson Court. Later documents give her address as Richardson Court, Malden (the address of my Hall ancestors).



When James’ widow later placed a claim, Elizabeth’s claim was thus rejected. Elizabeth’s attorney stated that he was told there was no widow or children. Elizabeth, was likely desperate.  Her husband David had died, probably by suicide in 1879 (story here), thus she likely had relied on her eldest son James for some support.


The file (although one of the smaller I have pulled – just 36 pages) is chock full of family details (albeit nothing confirming my suspicion that James parents were born in Ireland)! A witness statement indicating that Susan was a laundress working for $1.50/week for 22 year old Margaret E. Clark who she had known for five years.  Susan relied on her minor children, two boys and two girls, earnings of five to six dollars a month, as aid. She owned some household furniture valued less than $25.


Susan was removed from the Pension rolls in 1895 as she was “reported dead”. She wasn’t deceased, she remarried Brenton B. Cook on 07 Oct 1895 in Boston (record here). She died 2 March 1908 from Chronic Brights Disease and Edema of Lungs.



In summary, while a great tool, use Ancestry’s “cheat sheet” as a guide.  There are always exceptions. Without the Find-A-Grave hint, I wouldn’t have searched for these records and I would have missed some great family details!

The Family of James Alexander Wilson 1850-1866


Service according to

The service of the 11th Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery after James joined in December 1864 was as follows (text from Wikipedia):

Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7, 1865.

The Battle of Hatcher’s Run, also known as Dabney’s Mill, Armstrong’s Mill, Rowanty Creek, and Vaughn Road, fought February 5–7, 1865, was one in a series of Union offensives during the Siege of Petersburg, aimed at cutting off Confederate supply traffic on Boydton Plank Road and the Weldon Railroad west of Petersburg, Virginia. Although the Union advance was stopped, the Federals extended their siegeworks to the Vaughn Road crossing of Hatcher’s Run. The Confederates kept the Boydton Plank Road open, but were forced to extend their thinning lines.

 Fort Stedman March 25.

The Battle of Fort Stedman, also known as the Battle of Hare’s Hill, was fought on March 25, 1865, during the final days of the American Civil War. The Union Army fortification in the siege lines around Petersburg, Virginia, was attacked in a pre-dawn Confederate assault by troops led by Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon. The attack was the last serious attempt by Confederate troops to break the Siege of Petersburg. After an initial success, Gordon’s men were driven back by Union troops of the IX Corps commanded by Maj. Gen. John G. Parke.

 Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9.

The Appomattox Campaign was a series of American Civil War battles fought March 29 – April 9, 1865 in Virginia that concluded with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia to the Union Army (Army of the Potomac, Army of the James and Army of the Shenandoah) under the overall command of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. In the following eleven weeks after Lee’s surrender, the American Civil War ended as other Confederate armies surrendered and Confederate government leaders were captured or fled the country.

Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2.

The Third Battle of Petersburg, also known as the Breakthrough at Petersburg or the Fall of Petersburg, was fought on April 2, 1865, south and southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, at the end of the 292-day Richmond–Petersburg Campaign (sometimes called the Siege of Petersburg) and in the beginning stage of the Appomattox Campaign near the conclusion of the American Civil War. The Union Army (Army of the Potomac, Army of the Shenandoah and Army of the James) under the overall command of General-in-chief, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, launched an assault on General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s Petersburg, Virginia trenches and fortifications after the Union victory at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. As a result of that battle the Confederate right flank, rear and remaining supply lines were exposed or cut and the Confederate defenders were reduced by over 10,000 men killed, wounded, taken prisoner or in flight.

The thinly-held Confederate lines at Petersburg had been stretched to the breaking point by earlier Union movements that extended those lines beyond the ability of the Confederates to man them adequately and by desertions and casualties from recent battles. As the much larger Union forces, which significantly outnumbered the Confederates, assaulted the lines, desperate Confederate defenders held off the Union breakthrough long enough for Confederate government officials and most of the remaining Confederate army, including local defense forces, and some Confederate Navy personnel, to flee Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia during the night of April 2–3. Confederate corps commander Lieutenant General A.P. Hill was killed during the fighting.

Union soldiers occupied Richmond and Petersburg on April 3, 1865 but most of the Union Army pursued the Army of Northern Virginia until they surrounded and forced Robert E. Lee to surrender that army on April 9, 1865 after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Pursuit of Lee to Appomattox C. H. April 3-9.

the Siege of Petersburg ends with the Union assault and breakthrough of April 2. The remainder of the war in Virginia is classified as “Grant’s Pursuit of Lee to Appomattox Court House.

Moved to Washington, D.C., April 20-27.

Grand Review May 23 (note that James was enumerated with his family in the Massachusetts census on 1 May 1865 with no occupation listed. Records do indicate he mustered out June 16, 1865.  It is possible that whoever spoke to the census taker listed him as residing with the family even though he was not present).

The Grand Review of the Armies was a military procession and celebration in Washington, D.C., on May 23 and May 24, 1865, following the close of the American Civil War. Elements of the Union Army paraded through the streets of the capital to receive accolades from the crowds and reviewing politicians, officials, and prominent citizens, including the President of the United States, Andrew Johnson

Loyalist William Boone

During the American Revolution, conservative estimates claim that 10-15% of settlers in the thirteen colonies (or about a quarter of a million people), remained loyal to Great Britain (other historians quote figures upwards of 30%).  Since the winning side writes the history books, Loyalists are typically portrayed as traitors.  In reality, the Loyalists were simply loyal to their government.


Loyalists came from every class and walk of life, with varying reasons for loyalty to the Crown.  Some had business interests in England and believed the connection guaranteed them a secure life with wealth and property; others chose sides based on specific events happening in their own communities; some had emotional ties to their mother country; and others were simply fearful of the British Army as there was a high probability that the British would prevail and later persecute the rebels.  Some choose the British side because their military was large and strong, thus offering protection against indians, pirates and other insurgents.

A common theme was the apprehension of replacing a stable and seemingly successful government with democracy, which they believe to be a form of mob rule, and thus a breakdown of law and order which would likely result in chaos. Although the King was said to be a tyrant, Reverend Mather Byles said it best: “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?”

In 1783,  upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which recognized the independence of the United States, exiled Loyalists returned to England or settled in another British colony. About 35,600, primarily English-speaking, Loyalist refugees fled, with few possessions, to the then isolated and untamed areas of Nova Scotia. At the time, Nova Scotia’s population was about 53,000, thus one can imagine the impact on demographics.

To each family, Nova Scotia authorities granted adequate food and clothing for two years, 200 to 1,200 acres of land and farm implements. The Loyalists initially resided in tents while they cleared the land, erected a house and barn and worked to produce crops to sustain themselves and their livestock while enduring harsh winters. They had access to the river only in the few months it wasn’t frozen. The wife of one soldier recalled:

We pitched our tents in the shelter of the woods and tried to cover them with spruce boughs. We used stones for fireplaces. Our tents had no floors but the ground… how we lived through that winter, I barely know…

There are many tales of the hardships faced by New Brunswick Loyalists. After that first hard winter of 1783, however, most New Brunswick Loyalists probably took the attitude expressed by Edward Winslow, just being pleased not to be ” in danger of starving, freezing, or being blown into the Bay of Fundy”

The Loyalists wished to separate from Nova Scotia; they felt that the government represented the Yankee population who had been sympathetic to the now Americans. The British administrators felt that the capital, Halifax, was too far away from the developing territory to allow proper governance. Thus, on 16 August 1784, the colony of New Brunswick was created, with Sir Thomas Carleton as its first governor.

Among this group, was the family of my 5th g-grandfather, William Boone.

boone tree


William Boone was likely born to Mary Wightman and Samuel Boone, a Loyalist who was captured at Manor St George on Long Island by Major Bemjamin Tallmadge and taken as a prisoner to Camp Security in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Peter Force Papers, Series IX, Reel 105, p. 334), where he likely died, perhaps during the fever outbreak that hit the camp in 1782/3 killing many (history here) .

In the book Graveyards of North Kingstown, Rhode Island by Althea H. McAleer, is a transcription of Mary (Wightman) Boone’s tombstone, from work done by Harris, who visited on 28 Feb 1880, and referred to the cemetery as the “Old Boone Yard.”

“ Here lies interred Mary Boone consort of Samuel Boone Esq. He lies interred at Lemchester [likely Lancaster].  She died Sept. 12, 1782 in the 68th year of her age.”

William married Ruth Hill, 21 May 1761, in Rhode Island, and by 1774, according to census data, the couple resided on a farm in Exeter with eight children. His parents and several siblings resided nearby in North Kingston.

william marriage



A genealogist  (year of writings unknown) documented much of their history. Below are some extracts posted to an ancestry message board. The writings are unsourced, but it seems that the writer had access to the family bible. We do not have access to the original, nor do we know who made entries in the bible and how long they were made after actual events. The names do match up to those listed in Boone’s will. The list includes two children who died at a young age, perhaps indicating that the writer had first hand knowledge.



William Boone Sr.1743-1829

William Boone and his wife, whose maiden name was Ruth Hayward [Ruth’s maiden name was actually Hill], natives of Suffolk County, England, came to America and settled about the year 1765 [unlikely – he was probably born in Rhode Island, where record of his parents marriage is found]. They were people of considerable means and importance, their lands comprising most of the site of the present city of Providence, Rhode Island. The title deeds of which remained in the Boone family, and were finally in care of Mrs. Robert Allen (a direct descendant); but were destroyed when their home on the Hanwell Road [in Fredericton] was burned a few years ago.

William Boone and family were compelled to abandon their home and property in common with others who remained loyal to the Old Flag at the close of the war, and came to New Brunswick in 1783 [other records state that the property was taken from him].  Arriving at St. John, where they remained for a time, we find him applying for lands first at Swan Creek in 1786; and the next year, on the Oromocto River, where he remained for a few years.

Part of his family, who by that time were mostly grown up, settled there; but he not being entirely suited with the location, removed later with some of the family to the Keswick [River], receiving a grant of some 868 acres of land, at what is now Burtt’s Corner.  His first house being built on the farm now owned by Thomas Fowler, and standing just back of Charles Inch’s residence.

He and his wife spent the remainder of their days there and are both buried in the Baptist Cemetery at Burtt’s Corner. Suitable monuments mark both graves. They had a large family, and below is the record as copied from the Family Bible.

Name  Born  Married  Died
William Boone  Aug. 22, 1743 none listed  April 28, 1829
Ruth  Feb. 25, 1744 none listed  May 12, 1833
John  July 12, 1762 none listed none listed
 Samuel  March 9, 1764   March 21, 1785  Nov. 4, 1848
 William Jr  June 22, 1766  March 17, 1788  Nov. 17, 1849
 Hannah   Feb. 26, 1768  Dec. 8, 1788  June 17, 1860
 Mary  April 26, 1770 none listed  March 9, 1840
 Lucy  Aug. 5, 1772  Jan., 1805  Aug. 13, 1842
 Henry  July 4, 1774  June 8, 1798  June 14, 1846
 Wightman  Feb. 26, 1776 none listed  Dec. 12, 1778
 Howe  Dec. 12, 1777 none listed  Dec. 12, 1777
 James (Rev.)  May 8, 1780  Oct. 7, 1806  Oct. 23, 1865
 Elizabeth  Nov. 3, 1783 none listed   July 6, 1800
 George Sr. June 6, 1785  Oct. 18, 1809   Jan. 13, 1861
 Anna March 17, 1787  Oct. 14, 1842  Feb. 23, 1881


Travel to Canada

Other records confirm that Boone’s property at Rhode Island was confiscated; and further state he was imprisoned for twenty months after serving in the Hazard’s Corps (Refugees-irregulars who served without pay or uniforms and provided firewood, food, etc., to British establishments, to earn money).

“William Boon”, a Rhode Island farmer, his wife and six of their children (two under the age of ten) are recorded as passengers on the ship “Union”.  A Samuel Boon is also recorded, probably William’s brother, who’s wife and child remained behind in Rhode Island:

The Union was part of the “Spring Fleet” and departed from Huntington Bay on April 16th with the “Kingston Loyalists” and proceeded to New York, where forty-three of the passengers disembarked on April 23rd. The Union sailed for New Brunswick on April 24th with the remaining one hundred and sixty-four passengers. (this list indicates 209 passengers) The Union arrived at Partridge Island, NB on May 10th, and was moored at St. John on May 11th. The passengers did not land immediately, but “remained comfortable on board ship” until June 4th 1783 (passenger list here).

They shortly disembarked onto a small sloop and set sail up the St. John River to Belleisle Bay. Despite their caution in looking for a good place to settle, when they first arrived, they found “nothing but wilderness,” and the “women and children did not refrain from tears” Nevertheless, it was not long before an area at the head of Belleisle Creek was laid out by a surveyor who reserved land for a church and a school, as well as setting out lots. The Loyalists named their new village Kingston. By the time winter set in, according to Walter Bates’ account, “every man in the district found himself and family covered under his own roof… enjoying in unity the blessings which God had provided… in the country into whose coves and wild woods we were driven through persecution.”

Read more of their experiences here

union boones


Butts orner


Almost all land in New Brunswick, then called Nova Scotia, was Crown owned. Settlers wanting land, petitioned the Governor of Nova Scotia, usually noting the location they wanted. The request was made in a document, called a “Memorial”. The document might be written by the petitioner, but usually was prepared by a notary or Justice of the Peace (typically the requester had limited reading/writing skills).

Once approved, the Surveyor-General of Lands was directed to survey a certain tract or number of acres in a specified location and issue a certificate permitting the grant. The Provincial Secretary’s Office, drafted the grant which was signed by the Attorney-General and the Governor. A transcript of the final grant was also entered by hand into large bound record volumes kept in the Crown Lands Office.

The official grant was a large document on heavy paper with the Great Seal of the Province (a large embossed red wax disc) attached to it with a ribbon. This often was a prized possession, and many documents exist today with descendants.

Claims and Memorials
Memorial of William Boone of Rhode Island

To the Honble Col. Thos. DUNDAS and J. PEMBERTON Esqrs. two of the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament to enquire into the losses of his Majestys Loyal Subjects in America. The Memorial of Wm. BOONE of Rhode Island now of the County of Sunbury in New Brunswick.

Most humbly Sheweth

That Your Memorialist was possessed of considerable property in Kings County in Rhode Island untill the commencement of the late dissentions in America, at which time he was called on to aid and assist his Majestys enemies in America and on his refusal was insulted, abused and imprisoned, his effects and property taken and sold to the ruin of himself and family and he obliged to flee to his Majestys Troops for protection and during his continuance with them did his endeavour to annoy and distress those who attempted to subvert the British Government in America and in consequence thereof he was taken a prisoner and continued as such for near twenty months.

That Your Memorialist not having an Opportunity at this present [time], of procuring Deeds and other necessary pieces of writing to support his pretensions, but expecting hourly to receive the same, together with the evidences of Capt. Wm. CLERK, Mr. George SWEET and Joseph RATHBONE, all of this Province and others who will prove his Loyalty and Losses most humbly prays that your honours will take his distressed circumstances into consideration, as he having a large family to support in a wilderness Country, could not make a personal application in England, and from the same cause is prevented from an attendance on the honourable Commissioners at Halifax, but humbly hopes that his Claim will be admitted and that he may be allowed to prove the facts before the Commissioners when they arrive in New Brunswick.

And he is as in duty bound will ever pray

William BOONE

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 80, folios 42–43.

Notes continue saying that Boone under oath says he is of Rhode Island, now of Sunbury County, New Brunswick and from 15 July 1783 to 25 March 1784 he resided in the County of Sunbury and Nova Scotia and explained why his claim was late as per the above.


Boone Memorial pg 3

Boone Memorial pg 1Boone Memorial pg 2

Volume: A, page 198, Grant number 98
Original province of registration: Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia registration date: 1784/06/14
New Brunswick registration date: 1785/01/20
Accompanying plan: No
Acreage: 200 acres
Place and County: GAGE TOWNSHIP OF, Sunbury County

Boone land grant page 1

A number of land transactions are recorded in Sunbury County, the site where they initially settled, before removing to Burtt’s Corner in York County.

land indexes Sunbury

boon york

William and Ruth are buried in the Burtts Corner Community Cemetery in the Baptist Cemetery section.

cem 10415691_1467395270166064_6980391855902999478_n boon grave

Extract from Boone’s will:

BOONE, William
Parish of Douglas, York Co., Yeoman. Will dated 22 April 1826. Proved 8
June 1829.

He asks first for a decent Christian burial.

He leaves his dearly beloved wife, Ruth, fifteen pounds annually until her death, in lieu of her thirds; bed, bedding, furniture, half a dozen silver tea spoons and “a small room in my house and to be found with fire wood cut suitable length for the fire place Winter and Summer”.

He leaves to his beloved son, Henry, a lot of land bought from Jacob Knai.  To his beloved son, George “my homestead of this my farm” and land, which he describes. Both sons are named executors.

He leaves five shillings each to to his well beloved Samuel [he does not call Samuel “son”; this may be a transcription error], beloved sons William and James Boone; and three pounds each to his well beloved daughters Mary Jones, Lucy Estey, Elizabeth Lawrence, Ann Haines and Hannah Coggeshall.

It is further understood that all household goods which have not been given to Ruth, my well beloved wife, I bequeath to my beloved son George Boone, each and every one of those my children freely to be possessed and enjoyed.

Witnesses: Joshua Stone, Samuel Boone, Thomas White

boone map

boone map #2




Patriots Day and Ancestor William Grout

My dad worked as an Engineer, at Honeywell, in Lexington, Massachusetts, and enamored with the area and its history, cherished Patriots Day.  In the 1970’s, whilst much of Boston had plans to attend the Red Sox game or cheer for Boston Marathon runners, we rose Monday morning at 4AM and trekked to Lexington to view the early morning reenactment of the battle on Lexington Green. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the Revolutionary War, fought within the towns of  Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy [Arlington] and Cambridge.  Although dark, typically cold and sometimes rainy, it was always exciting!

The Colonists wished to run their own affairs and sought their independence from England. In an effort to stop this, the Regulars headed for Concord, on the morning of 19 April 1775, with orders to destroy muskets, powder, cannons and provisions stockpiled at Colonel Barrett’s farm. The Red Coats arrived in Lexington at dawn to find the militia gathered on the Green. The British ordered them to lay down their arms and disperse. Then a shot rang out, “the shot heard around the world”, signifying the start of the American Revolution. When the smoke cleared, two were dead and several wounded.  Women and children ran to their fallen loved ones as the march continued to Concord [a YouTube video of the reenactment, filmed in 2010 can be found here].

Later, we attended the parade, toured historical homes and snacked.

Turns out, my 5th g-grandfather, William Grout, was engaged in the Lexington Alarm! [click on any image for a larger view]



Grout pension

William Grout was born 25 June 1754 in East Sudbury [now Wayland], Massachusetts to William Grout and Eunice Moore (widow of Samuel Cutting). William was their only known child, as the elder William, age 29, was likely killed in action, during the French & Indian War while part of Captain Dakin’s company in Lake George.  

On 20 July 1758, the Indians attacked a group of ten who were scouting. Others from the fort went out to assist; the Indians shot and killed fourteen, including William. The dead were scalped by the Indians and later buried in a mass grave.


Dr. Ebenezer Roby, jr. who was part of the Alarm List (persons between the age of 16 and 60 ordinarily exempt from military duty) that were called to join the First Foot company in Sudbury on 25 April 1757 during the 4th French and Indian war, kept a journal of his service which documents the elder William Grout’s death:

Thursday, 27  [July, 1758]

 A warm morning.  A smart thunder shower about 11 o’cock, very warm before.  I see William Rice who told me that Captain Dakin, Jones and Lawrence, Lieutenant Curtis, William Grout, Jonathan Paterson was killed.  A shower in the afternoon. Lodged on straw bed.

Click for full Diary.

William Grout death

The elder William was the grandson of John Grout, the Puritan, born 1616 who immigrated to America in the early 1600’s, and who from 1675 to 1676  saved Sudbury from certain annihilation in King Phillip’s war. Read of him here – “The Original Captain America Save Sudbury”  After his heroics in the King Phillip War, Grout was promoted to captain, equal to knighthood in England.  Grout was not in the employ of the government and was entitled to pay, but he volunteered his service and received no bounty. he died in 1697 age of 81.

According to g-grandsons Walter Franklin & Wilbur Henry Lansil’s SAR applications, the younger William carried forward his family’s patriotic tradition as part of the Minute Company under the command of Captain Nathaniel Cudworth, in Colonel Abijah Pierce’s regiment, at the Lexington Alarm; he was a private in Captain Thadeus Russell’s company in Colonel Jonathon Brewer’s regiment 1775; in Captain Ashiel Wheeler’s company, Colonel Reed’s regiment 1776 at Ticonderoga; in Captain M. Sawyer’s Company, Colonel Dyke’s regiment 1777-1778; in Captain Seth Newton’s Company, at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Colonel Abijah Stern’s regiment and in Captain William Howe’s Company, Colonel John Rand’s Regiment, 1776, thus serving sixteen months in Revolutionary War times.

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Captain Nathaniel Cudworth’s participation in April 1775 is documented in written accounts:

The news spread quickly that men had been killed on the Lexington Green.  In Revolutionary Times, this was known as “the Day of the Lexington Alarm”.  The alert went out to every Middlesex village and farm, and developed a life of its own, reaching Worcester and Hampshire counties, New Hampshire and Maine.  The roads began to fill with minutemen and militiamen, advancing on Concord from many directions.

Sudbury sent several units, one being Captain Nathaniel Cudworth’s, with 40 men, likely one of whom was our William Grout.  There is a strong town tradition that Captain Cudworth’s Sudbury Company was heavily engaged on Brook’s Hill [Hudson, Sudbury, 380] and it is also possible that the other six units from Sudbury joined the ambush at Hardy’s [Brook’s] Hill, about a mile from Meriam’s corner, on Wednesday, March 22, 1775 – the fourth day of the Battle.

130 PM

map battle

battle road

Red dawn at Lexington

Lex accout #2

battle 3

Brewers 1775.jpg

In 1833, when William applied for a pension he wrote:

“I William Grout of Frankfort in Said County of Waldo [Maine], do hereby on oath further certify that from old age and bodily infirmity I cannot recollect the precise times which I enlisted in the War of the Revolution, but as near as I can recollect my first enlistment was on or about the 19th day of April 1775 with Captain Thadeus Russell and that I served eight months, the term for which I enlisted….”


Grout’s signed pension file tells us:

1. He was born in East Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1754.

2. That he believes his age is recorded at East Sudbury.

3. That he was living at East Sudbury when he enlisted and since the Revolutionary War he lived seven years in Hillsborough [New Hampshire], from thence two years in east Sudbury and from thence he removed to Frankfort [Maine] where he now lives.

4. That he volunteered his services.

5. That he recollects Col. Josiah Fuller, that General Putnam commanded on Cambridge Side, Prospect Hill, so called; that Col Patterson commanded a regiment and have up a ____ on Bunker Hill; that he recollects Col Carlton of Ticonderoga, but does not now recollect any other material fact but what is contained in his declaration.

6. That he never received any discharge for they were not generally asked for or given at that time.

7. The he is well known by the Rev Joshua Hall, Archibald Jones, Benjamin Shaw, Nehemiah Rich, esq., W. William Andrews and Tisdale Dean of said Frankfort, all or any of whom will testify to his character for veracity and their belief that he was a soldier of the Revolution.


On 1 April 1779, William Grout married Hannah Jennison, daughter of Robert Jennison/Jenison and Sibbella/Sybil Brintall at Sudbury and worked as a carpenter.

Although my research is “work in progress”, they are said to have had at least seven children: Joel, Amos, William, Mary “Polly”, Nancy, Hannah and Eunice.  Census data indicates there may have also been a fifth daughter.

None of these births are recorded in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, however William does appear on the tax records there from 1781 to 1785, after which he apparently relocated to Maine, where many records did not survive.   Since William was the only “Grout” to reside in Hancock County, Maine in that period, and as he had no siblings, it is likely that all Grouts recorded there are descendants.  His children William and Nancy are documented as residing with he and Hannah in 1822.  Nancy later married Nathanial Grant and his pension file further confirms her parentage.

According to the Lansil’s unsupported SAR applications and family lore, my family descends from William’s son Amos of Frankfort, who married Rachael Couillard of Bucksport.  At that time, SAR did not require documentation.  Walter and Wilbur’s mother, Betsey Turner Grout, likely told her sons that her grandfather had fought in the Revolution.  She had first hand knowledge, unlike today’s requirements, further proof was not a requirement.

amos rachael married

A land deed, dated 8 October 1810, filed in Hancock County transferring land from Amos Grout of Frankfort, Gentleman to William Richmond Marc and Tisdale Dean offers further evidence of the marriage. Rachael Grout signs by mark and Joshua Couillard and Arch. Jones witness to signing of Rachael Couillard. This probable error further implies that Rachael Grout was formerly Rachael Couillard.Rachael signature

William Grout was sued in 1800 in the Court of Common Pleas by Benjamin Thompson and Jesse Wyman who asked that Grout, a carpenter, be imprisoned in gaol (jail) at Castine, for debt of fifty dollars and fifty one cents plus thirteen dollars and thirty eight cents for the cost of the suit.

They filed a second suit for forty four dollars and twenty six cents plus twenty five cents more for this writ plus your fees.

lawsuit Grout

100 acres of William’s real estate was set off as debt repayment of one hundred and twenty dollars (he still owed seven dollars and seventy six cents).  The land is described in the case file:

land description Grout

In 1802, probable sons Amos and Joel repurchase the same land, William is a witness – Grout deed 17 Aug 1802`


Another land deed dated 1809 seems to further link father William with sons Amos and Joel (note that Amos’ wife Rachael gives up her rights of dower, thus confirming this is likely “our Amos”).

Click here to read – Grout deed 25 Feb 1809

Amos and Rachael’s daughter, my third g-grandmother, was named Betsey Turner Grout [her story here], perhaps after an aunt –  a Hannah Grout, who according to cemetery records, was born in 1791 on Orphan Island, Maine (home of William Grout the 1790 census year), married a Samuel Turner and named a child William Grout Turner.  Amos and this elder Hannah are likely siblings and he choose to give his child the Turner name, perhaps after a child of his sister’s who was deceased.


A granddaughter of Joel Grout, through his son Robert Clark Grout, Elizabeth Sarah “Lizzie” (Grout) Smith (b. 26 Jul 1849 d. abt 1935) left a short family history.  She recalls her grandfather having three siblings.  Aunt Turner, who resided on Isle Au Haut, Maine; Aunt Drake and a brother who had a son Amos.  She further recalls that Aunt Turner’s daughter married Captain Lampher of Searsport.  Copy here: story-grout

A Mary (Turner) Lampher’s death is reported in Everett, Massachusetts in 1910.  She was reported to have been born in Isle Au Haute to  Samuel Turner and Hannah Grout. Hannah’s birth location is said to be Orphan’s Island, Maine (which is where William Grout was enumerated in 1790).

death certificate.jpg

“Aunt Drake” was likely William’s daughter Mary “Polly” Grout who supposedly married Lemuel Drake (unsourced online trees).  The death certificate of Phoebe (Drake) Perkins, recorded in Winterport in 1905 reports parents as Polly Grout or Grant and Samuel Drake. Samuel and Mary are found in the 1850 census in Newburgh, Maine; an ancestry user reports that Samuel was actually Lemuel.  The 1840 census does include a Lemuel Drake in Newburgh.  In 1820 & 1830 a man of that name was residing in Dixmont, Maine.

In 1850 a Friend Drake was enumerated with this family.  His death, recorded in Winterport, Maine in 1899 names parents as Lemuel and Mary Grout or Grant.  It further reports his mother’s birthplace as Massachusetts. This is possible, given that William Grout’s pension file reports: “he lived seven years in Hillsborough [New Hampshire], from thence two years in east Sudbury and from thence he removed to Frankfort [Maine] where he now lives.”

The “brother” of Joel, who Lizzie names in her history  “had one son named Amos”. My guess it that this brother was Amos, my direct ancestor, son of William Grout, husband of Rachael Couillard, who did have a son Amos.

Lizzie writes: “In the fall of 1859, father sold his Jackson property and we all moved to the old home in Monroe.  Grandfather was dead and uncle Amos (Joel’s son) was living on the place. Sure enough, we find that in Joel’s will, written Nov 1856, he leaves Lizzie’s father, Robert Clark Grout, land in Monroe. Joel’s son Amos is appointed as executor. A copy can be found on here.

William Grout in Later Years

1790 – Orphan Island, Maine [which was part of Massachusetts until 15 March 1820]

The William Grout household in 1790 included seven members:

Home in 1790 (City, County, State): Orphan Island, Hancock, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – Under 16: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over: 2
Free White Persons – Females: 3
Number of Household Members: 7


Description of Orphan Island, once a shipbuilding village:

Desc Orphan

1800 Buckstown [later Bucksport], Maine [which was part of Massachusetts until 15 March 1820]

The 1800 census, having a column “from whence immigrated” further verifies William as the William Grout born in Sudbury. The household included 10 members; the children include three boys and five girls:


Home in 1800 (City, County, State): Buckstown, Hancock, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 10

Description of Buckstown [later Bucksport in 1827]

bucksport 1827

1810-1830 (and likely until death) Frankfort, Maine [which was part of Massachusetts until 15 March 1820]

In 1810 and 1820, the household included five members:

Home in 1810 (City, County, State): Frankfort, Hancock, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 1
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 5
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Frankfort, Hancock, Maine
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 1
Free White Persons – Over 25: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5

And in 1830, just two are listed in the household, likely William and his son William (Hannah likely died between 1824 and 1830 as she does not appear in the 1830 census but is listed on William’s 1822/4 pension application – see below).

Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Frankfort, Oxford, Maine
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 70 thru 79: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2

History of Frankfort can be read here

On March 18, 1818, Congress enacted legislation which provided lifetime pensions to poverty stricken Continental Line and US Navy veterans who had served at least 9 months or until the end of the war.  The benefits provided for $20 per month for qualifying officers and $8 per month for non officers.  So many applications were filed under this Act that the legislation was amended on May 1, 1820 to require applicants to submit certified schedules of income and assets with their applications and empowering the Secretary of War, in his sole discretion, to remove from the pension rolls such beneficiaries as he may determine were not in need of financial assistance. On March 1, 1823, Congress passed legislation which resulted in the restoration of some of the pensions disallowed by the Secretary.

Mr. Arthur Livermore, State Representative for New Hampshire, requested a pension on William’s behalf on 19 January 1820 at the 16th Congress, session 1 (recorded on Journal Page 147).  He was referred to the Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims.


On 24 January 1820, his claim was referred to the Secretary of War (recorded on Journal Page 165).

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On 29 March 1820 the report of the Secretary of War, in regards to his pension. was laid before the house (recorded on Journal Page 350).

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Library of Congress, American Memory, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875, , Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States

William’s application for a pension under this act [although the database is labeled land grants?] is found in Hancock County, Maine for his Revolutionary Service. Original documents stored at the Maine State Archives here:Revolutionary war application

He was a carpenter, age 68, who is unable to work due to sickness and great debility. He did not own real estate. His possessions included: 1 hog $4.00, tea kettle & other iron ware $3.00, crockery ware $1.00, chairs, tubs and wooden ware $2.00, sundry small articles $6.00 – total $16.00. He resided with his wife Hannah (66) in Frankfort and two children, Nancy (24) and William (27).

Frankfort vitals

On June 7, 1832, Congress enacted pension legislation extending benefits more universally than under any previous legislation.  This act provided for full pay for life for all officers and enlisted men who served at least 2 years in the Continental Line, the state troops or militia, the navy or marines. Men who served less than 2 years but at least 6 months were granted pensions of less than full pay. Benefits were payable effective March 4, 1831, without regard to financial need or disability and widows or children of were entitled to collect any unpaid benefits due from the last payment to a veteran until his death. William finally was approved to collect under this act.

Payments under this act, which were made available in March and September, began in March 1832 but were retroactive to 4 June 1831. The numbers in the ledger below indicate whether the payment was collected by William (or his representative) in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th quarter.  It also tells us that he likely did not move from Maine in this time frame (usually a notation would indicate a transfer to an alternate pension office).

grout pension final U.S. Pensioners, 1818-1872 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Ledgers of Payments, 1818-1872, to U.S. Pensioners Under Acts of 1818 Through 1858 From Records of the Office of the Third Auditor of the Treasury, 1818-1872; (National Archives Microfilm Publication T718, 23 rolls); Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, Record Group 217; National Archives, Washington, D.C..

William is listed in the 1835 lists of Pensioners.

pensionroll1835i-002067 U.S., The Pension Roll of 1835 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.Original data:United States Senate.The Pension Roll of 1835.4 vols. 1968 Reprint, with index. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992.

Final payment

william final

william final 2.jpgwilliam final 3.jpg

Based on the date of last pension payment, in the 4th quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) of 1836, Grout, in his early 80’s likely died late 1836/early 1837.

52 Ancestors Week #33 – The Battle of Bunker Hill

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


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

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1830 bunker hill

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

account of Battle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here: article


bunker hillbunker hil celebration

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

Moses Pindar chart

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

moses more

Moses Pindar Revolution

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

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

moses book


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

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

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

It seems only one man of the company, Jesse Story, lost his life.

col little

moses battle


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Ipswich Vital Records – Births and Marriages


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

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

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

Moses birth

moses marriage


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

(1)   Moses Pindar  – bride’s name: Elizabeth Safford; marriage date: 04 Oct 1765; marriage place: Ipswich,Essex,Massachusetts –  Elizabeth was the daughter of Daniel Safford and Hannah Hovey.  Daniel left 5 shillings to his grandson, Moses Pinder (his will was proved in Essex County, 1796, Case Number 24493 ). His daughter Elizabeth was not named; she was likely deceased.

(2)   Moses Pinder – bride’s name: Mary Procter; marriage date: 08 Sep 1778;  marriage place: Gloucester,Essex,Massachusetts – the Mary Procter marriage registered in Gloucester states that Mary was now from Ipswich: Moses, and Mary Procter [formerly of this town, now of Ipswich, C. R. 1.], Sept. 8, 1778. They were married by the Rev. Eli Forbes, pastor of the First Church of Gloucester.

(3)   Moses Pinder – bride’s name: Mary Kimball; marriage intention: 19 Sep 1778, Ipswich,Essex,Massachusetts –

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

The Massachusetts Tax Valuation list of 1771, which lists males over 16, and includes over 27 categories of property from buildings to financial assets to livestock, lists only one Moses Pinder in the entire state (in Ipswich) further indicating that there was likely just one Moses.  It is possible there was a Moses who was not of age in 1771 but then he would have been significantly younger than “Mary” and neither his birth or death recorded. There were no Pinders of Gloucester who may have fathered a second Moses. Other Pinders recorded were:  Benj’n, John, Jonathan in Ipswich and Thomas of Newburyport (no one with other variations of the name Pinder were recorded).


Known children born to Moses in Ipswich include:

(1) Mary Pinder daughter of Moses and Elizabeth, baptized 28 May 1769 (Ipswich vital records) – no further records found, probably died young.

(2) Moses Pinder son of Moses baptized 30 Dec 1770 (Ipswich vital records), named in his grandfather’s will 1796, 1850 census in Homer, Cortland, New York.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Mary Pindar Death

Moses Pindar Death

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


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

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

Katherin Pinder probate


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

10 fresh

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

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

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

In an 1824 land deed, he is referred to as a Clothier.

Moses Pinder land sale 1824

Censuses and Tax Records

1790 census

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

1790 Census

 1798 tax records

Tax records indicate that in 1798, Moses owned land in Ipswich, perhaps jointly with Edward Stacey [his brother-in-law, husband of his sister Hannah].  The property had one dwelling house and an outhouse.  The lot was equal to 10 perches (about 1/16 acre) and valued at $150.

1898 pindar land

In 1812, Moses sold land (book 198/page 217) in Ipswich, his son David signs as a witness and Mary gives up her right of dower.  It is described as 1/8th undivided part of meadow land in Ipswich called Bartholomew Hill pasture and commonly known by the name of Pinder Right, originally laid out as eight acres.

Moses Pinder land sale

hill descript


Moses also sold land with a dwelling house in 1824 (deed pictured above, book 237/page 108) that he purchased of the estate of Stephen Safford for 36 pounds, 13 shillings and four pence. The land is described in the deed by which he purchased the land in 1769 (book 126/page 253). It included the Northerly end of a dwelling house to the middle of the chimney with a shop at the end of said house and a Dye house adjoining and half the barn and half about 8 rods of land, bounded southerly by Nathaniel Farley, westerly on the road that leads to the grist mill, easterly by land owned by the town of Ipswich, enclosed by a stone wall, the same land owned by Stephen Safford, deceased. Joesph Hunt purchased the other half of the property.


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

1800 Moses

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

1810 moses census

1820 Census – unreadable

Moses 1820

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

bunker hill day

WWI aboard the Ticonderoga

Alexander Haines was the favorite sibling and younger brother of John Haines, my great grandfather (the father of Edith Anna “Nana” (Haines) Hall, who was my dad’s mother).

Alexander Haines

Uncle Alex was stationed on the Ticonderoga.

Following is a story written by dad’s brother in remembrance of Uncle Alex:

When you sail on the Atlantic, you know it is a powerful and treacherous sea with many bad stories to tell.  Also it is incredibly attractive. Occasionally feeling endangered when brushing against the deep you get a prized rush from that shot of emotion called adventure.  Unfortunately, if things don’t go well, terror is a short distance down the road. This has always been true but never more so than during World War 1.

During that conflict American allies fretted over the ocean.  If the Allies were to win, the sea-lanes had to be used to assure supplies.  In an attempt to gain an advantage and because of the importance of this problem strategies were devised and tactics invented.

The United States idea focused on using the Atlantic to swarm cargo ships to France and provide an overwhelming superiority in supplies.  There was no attempt to feint or otherwise baffle with bullshit.  The mission, get as much war goods to France as achievable in the shortest possible time.  For protection, run the ships in convoy and use whatever ships of the line you can spare for escort duty.  However if a vessel malfunctions or warships are unavailable, remember the mission is to maximize the goods on the beach in France not minimize the risk to a few sailors.

By 1917 the U.S. was manufacturing plenty of war goods, but didn’t have enough ships to transport the material. To alleviate this crisis, the U.S. built ships, converted ships, and seized ships.

One of the ships central to this story was the German cargo ship Camilla Rickmers that was seized by U.S. Customs officials in 1917. After being turned over to the Navy, she was fitted out as an animal transport; armed with a 3-inch gun forward and a 6-inch gun aft.

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Renamed Ticonderoga, she was commissioned at Boston in the Naval Overseas Transportation Services on 5 Jan 1918, with Lt. Commander James J. Madison, USNR  in command.

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Sixteen young sailors from New England were included in the crew including Alex Haines of Malden Massachusetts.

Based on some data, I’ve drawn conclusions about our Alex.  Growing up in what today we know was a highly unusual family situation, he had to be a little bit crafty to survive and maintain his popularity with both his father and his brothers. This characteristic would of course help him avoid difficulty with the bureaucracy that surrounds an enlisted man.

In addition, having observed descendent great uncles Bill and Jack Haines as young men, I can say with some certainty that the generation earlier Alex was handsome, had very strong social skills and was popular with guys and attractive to women including his wife the cute, dark haired, Ina.

Ina & Alex

Ina and Alex

Alex was a young guy who laughed a lot, had a zest for life and an itch to see what was over the next hill. I‘m including a letter Alex wrote to his father after his third Atlantic crossing. In it I think you can feel his youthful bravado and enthusiasm for life.

September 16, 1918, USS Ticonderoga Norfolk, Virginia 10 p.m. 

Dear Father,  I have returned from my third tour and will start this week again for France.  I am having a good time and seeing a great many things.  Our first trip was in the spring, and naturally was stormy.  The second trip was very pleasant, until 800 mi. out coming back we ran to a storm, and lost a man, June 21 washed overboard.  I spent the Fourth of July in Virginia.  I might as well have been in a naval yard it was so dead.  I have had Ina come down to spend the week with me this time.  Ina will start back for Boston tomorrow.   

This trip was pretty lively there were 35 ships in the convoy and an American cruiser, which left us in the war zone 800 miles from France on July 21 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. They and the destroyer were to pick us up the next day but there were two subs following along looking for an opportunity.  At 7:30 a torpedo hit the Tippecanoe in the stern.  If it had not hit them, it would have got us amidships.  We saw a torpedo but not the sub.  The Tippecanoe was our sister ship and was riding on our port side.  She sank in 25 minutes.  It got dark, and we were not bothered for the rest of the night.  At four o’clock the next morning we sighted two on the horizon.  At 7:30 one rose four times to get the ship on our starboard side.  But each time, we opened fire, and made it so warm that they could not launch a torpedo.  The destroyers picked up our wireless and got there in time to stop further loss.  The crew of the Tippecanoe was picked up the next morning.  The subs got into our convoy again one day out from France and one of the destroyers launched a depth bomb that brought up a whale. 

We landed in La Police(?)this last time but the first two trips were Bordeaux.  We came back, by way of the Azores where we ran into subs again.  At eight o’clock in the evening we saw a sub off our port bow.  We were escorting an unarmed ship back to the states.  At nine o’clock they opened fire on us, which we returned.  There were about 20 shots fired.  We do not know whether we got him or not, but he did not bother us any more.  The rest of the way was very pleasant.  Labor day we met a ship and hoisted signals, which they did not answer.  We put two shots across their bow and prepared to sink her.  She answered before we got that far. 

I am sending you my picture that I had taken last trip, and would have sent you, but did not have your address.  I would like to get the address of Aunt Mary, as I would like to write to her. Ina and I are thinking of going out that way after the war.  I am feeling fine, and like this life very much.  I would not have missed this trip for anything.  When you write give me your home address.  Will say goodbye for another trip. 

Your loving son,    

Alex  USS TiconderogaNorfolk VA  

Three days after Alex wrote the letter, the Ticonderoga loaded with horse soldiers, their animals, and supplies steamed to New York and joined a convoy. This passage would be the fourth trip to France for Alex.  Things went well from the time they departed New York on September 22nd until they were well out to sea on the night of the 29th.  Then the ships engine began malfunctioning.  The problem attributed to bad coal continued and by the evening of the 30th the convoy drew away leaving them quietly alone.  At least they hoped they were alone.

Unfortunately they were not alone. At dawn, the calm was shattered by lookout shouts and ships alarm. The German submarine U-152 commanded by Captain Adolf Franz from the dreaded Kreuzer Flotilla thrashed to the surface and cleared for action. Within the first six shots, the forward gun of the Ticonderoga was silenced and after that it was a very uneven battle. For two hours round after round screamed in on the nearly defenseless ship with horrific results shattering the wooden lifeboats and wounding almost all 237 men aboard.

Finally, mercifully, the Ticonderoga slipped beneath the sea leaving only 24 left to tell the tale.

There is no way of knowing exactly what happened to Alex.  My guess is that he was every bit as scared as we would have been but still did what he was supposed to do and probably a little more.

But then as in The Abyss, ” For an instant that seemed to him eternal, a globe of scarlet palpitated within him, or perhaps outside him, bleeding on the sea.  Like the summer sun in polar regions, that burning sphere seemed to hesitate, ready to descend one degree toward the nadir; but then, with an almost imperceptible bound upward, it began to ascend toward the zenith, to be finally absorbed in a blinding daylight, which was, at the same time, night.”

This battle wasn’t totally ignored.  There was a front-page report in the NY Times and two consecutive days of front page reporting in the morning edition of the Boston Globe.  However it wasn’t the lead story and there were no headlines although Alex got his name in the Globe as one of the New Englanders killed.  In a newspaper the story of self-interest of nations and posture of leaders always trumps the sacrifice of citizens.

Not true in the hearts of families however.  This writing has in my mind and I hope yours transformed Alex from a name and a date on a genealogy chart to a person.  Next Memorial Day remember Alex a young man deserving of our respect.

alex obit

Graves markers for 113 of these brave men, including our Alex, all who are deemed “missing in action” are at Suresnes American Cemetery, France (website:

alex grave.png

I was hoping to learn more of Alex’s life.

On page 275 of the finding aid Lists of Logbooks of US Navy Ships, Stations and Miscellaneous Units, 1801-1947; special list 44 is listed a Ticonderoga log dated 5 January – 31 August 1918.  I learned that in 1918, the log would have been created on a preprinted form and might include such information as temperature, winds, distance travelled, sightings, crew condition and leaves, training exercises and miscellaneous events of the day.  This Ticonderoga log is part of the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, record group 24 (National Archives RG 24, stack area 18w4, row 22, compartment 16, shelf 4).

During a visit to the National Archives in Washington D.C. during the summer of 2011, I found the log book and took photos of its delicate pages (not all organized yet!, but on Flickr)

The story is fascinating!  Alex, a baker, is mentioned several times.  There were men thrown off the ship for various infractions (like drinking), little did they know it ultimately saved their lives. There was even an onboard murder!

The journal not only gives a glimpse of Alex’s last days, but is chock full of genealogical information – for example an entry dated  Saturday, February 16, 1918, reads:

Three officers and 104 enlisted men of the U.S. Army came aboard during the day for passage overseas, names as follows:Ticonderoga


Fairchild, Samuel G.; McComas, Ben C.; Krowl, Chas. J.; Baugh, Clyde C.; Shrivers, Oura O.; O’Brien, Henry J.; Whitmore, Haswell; Kandell, Norman; Parmley, Wm. J.; Real, Thomas H.; Talbot, John L.; Dzik, Standley; Armstrong, Frank; Engle, Harry; Nordli, Arne A; Kirchenstein, J.D.; Powell, Leo; Roberts, Frank M.; Shirley, Walter; Smith, Henry C.; Lalonde, Edward E.; Vernon, Roy C.; Hochleutner, Irwin E.; Wilkinson, Gerald; Carpenter, Ray. C.; Krohn, Herman; Smith, Robert R.; Amsbury, Harvey E.; Arnold, Warren H.; Benson, Martin; Bock, William C.; Coffman, James W.; Consul, Ralph; Craig, George; Claiborne, Joseph S.; Darling, Raymond D.; Dean, Benjamin A.; Dunlap James Jr.; Everett, Tetie; Fitzgerald, Frank F.; Hanson, Ben A.; Harvey, Earl D.; Hill, Noble McK.; Hosen, Wm. S.; Karnes, Alfred R.; King, Lonnie L.; Kain, John M.; Jones, Ray; Lupp, Luther L.; Lane, Milton; LaBunker Wm. F.; Lederle, Walter H.; McCoy, Geo. T.; Merrill, P.P.; Minnich, Henry; McGlynn, Chas. J; McGuinn, Dan P.; Mellen, Oliver A.; Mellen, James K.; Mitchels, C.E.; McNeal, Wm. H.; Morris, Fred D.; Nickerson, Earl J.; Payne, Howard B.; Provost, Ernest F.; Reeves, John F.; Ring, Albert S.; Rourke, Wm. J.; Rooney, John P.; Sammler, Walter W.; Smith, Leonard; Sweeny, Hubert; Sawatzky, August; Saxton, Lucian H.; Short, Wm. W.; Bradshaw, Lee; Carraro, John; Greene, Henry; Sevenresky, Martin; Deyong, Henry; Stone, Hardin E.; Baker, Ralph V.; Burns, Arthur M.; Carden, Samuel A.; Camp, Enoch; Dalton, Walter; Davies, John; Eby, Robert C.; Boyle, Norman R.; Boreman, John; Horn, Elmer B.; Hoolehan, John; Holloway, Sidney L.; Harvey, William H.; Kelly, Floyd V.; Line, Claud C.; Leiber, Eugene; Long, Norwood; Phillips, Crawford; Ryan, Edward L.; Stonesifer, Robt. H.; Vorac, Rudolph; Welsh, James B.; Lillicotch, Frank V.; Tracy, John; Whitney, Leonardo O.; Martin, Walter


Log Book (Summary) – U.S.S. Ticonderoga – Jan 5, 1918 to Aug 31, 1918

The log commences at noon on Monday, December 31, when Lieutenant Commander James J. Madison reported on board.

Wednesday, January 2 – 48 mattresses and pillows are delivered along with two typewriters and a safe.

Thursday, January 3 – the Navy Yard delivers 7 life rafts.  The starboard anchor arrives and is shackled onto the starboard chain.

On Saturday, January 5 a large number of the crew reports for duty.  Ship’s store and provisions are delivered.

A. Haines, Baker 2c reported for duty on Monday, January 7 

On Thursday, January 10, members of the ship not on watch were granted liberty.  They returned and resumed their duties the next morning.

During this week a number of contracted workmen reported to perform repair and construction work on the ship, they worked from 7am to 5 pm most days but remained until 10PM on Sunday, January 6th and Monday, January 7th and worked through the night on Tuesday, January 8th.  They continued working on Wednesday, January 9th from 7am to 10pm and then again through the night on Thursday, January 9th.  This continued with varying hours through Wednesday, January 16th.

Monday, January 14th – 3 chronometers were delivered. A number of men reported for duty.

Tuesday, January 15th – all persons not members of the ship’s company were ordered ashore. The ship prepared to sail on 10 minute notice.

Wednesday, January 16th – 8:25am proceeded from Hodges Wharf, East Boston, MA enroute to adjust compasses.  Ship maneuvered various courses adjusting compasses.  12:42pm full speed enroute to sea. 5pm Cape Cod light abeam.

Thursday, January 17th – 2:46am sighted Nantucket Shoal Lightship bearing WSW.  Gentle breeze, moderate sea, long swell.

Friday, January 18th – 12:07pm heavy fog set in, engines stopped, at 12:26pm the fog lifted and the vessel proceeded full speed ahead.

Saturday, January 19th – 8am to 4am off anchor Cape Charles, VA; clear skies with snow squalls.   Passed Fortress Monroe at 10:54am.  The ship docked and mail was delivered onboard.

  • Arrival notes: Passage Boston, MA to Newport News, VA
  • Bar to bar – 2 days, 6 hours, 48 minutes; 501.5 miles, 9.14 mph
  • Dock to dock – 3 days, 3 hours, 31 minutes; 541.5 miles, 7.17 mph

January 20th – 31st, – seaman continued working, a number of men departed and reboarded the ship and it snowed quite a bit.  Two men lost liberty for 7-12 days for changing quartermaster watch without permission and one man was tried by the deck court for 36 hours overleave and for being arrested for drunkenness (he lost liberty for 90 days). A few were placed on the binnacle list once for influenza and another for orchitis.  Two men were transferred from NTS Naval Operating Base to the Ticonderoga.

Friday, February 1st – seamen exercised in swinging out and lowering the life rafts.

Sunday, February 3rd – US Mail was delivered.

Feb 4th – cleared ice between ship & dock

Feb 16th – 2 men left ship w/o permission and were discovered trying to board the ship unnoticed by the stern line; 3 officers and 104 enlisted men of the US Army came aboard during the day for passage overseas.

Feb 18th – set sail to NY

  • Arrival notes: bar to bar 0 days, 23 hours, 30 min; dock to anchorage 1 day, 5 hours, 25 min. Anchored off Tompkinsville, Staten Island – weather clear, cold & calm.

Feb 19th – Lieut Arey, executive officer was “sent to his room” charged with being under the influence of liquor.  The next day he was detached and left the ship for conduct unbecoming of an officer.

Wed, Feb 20th – headed out of NY Harbor as part of a convoy enroute to Eurpore with Cargo for A.E.F.

Fri, Feb 22nd – A few dead mules were thrown overboard.

Sat Feb 23rd – wind increased in violence & convoy began to scatter, passed a ship displaying the signal “I am out of control”, rain squalls; 8-12pm no ships of convoy in sight.

Sat, Feb 24 – 9 mules dead this morning; 8-12pm unidentified ship of convoy in sight, made signal but she did not answer.

Tues, Feb 26th  – 1:37pm sounded general alarm, and fired 3 shots from each gun

Sat, Mar 2nd – 2 men were confined to only bread and water for 24 hours commencing at 10am for failing to stand guard in a proper manner.  7:25 sighted convoy of ships off port bow, exchanged signals; 4pm to 5:45pm received various signals from “Aclonza” started to zig zag.

Sun, Mar 3rd – lifeboat cut adrift as it was damaged beyond repair; exchanged signals with convoy; weather stormy and overcast

Monday, Mar 4th – rec’d signal from H.M.S. Arlanza to zig zag throughout watch; ship rolling slightly to long ground swells.

Tuesday, Mar 5th – sighted 2 unidentified steamers, change course; zig zagging from 8am to 6:20pm

Wednesday, Mar 6th – sighted patrol boat and two destroyers; resumed zig sagging; changed course a number of times

Thursday, Mar 7th – rec’d orders from destroyer to follow close; Las Pures Novres beacon abeam at 10:55am and Point Mathew beacon abeam at 11:27am; 4pm proceeded up harbor of Brest and anchored at 12:55pm with 60 fathoms of chain.

  • Arrival notes: Bar to bar: 14d, 21h, 15m; 3,074 miles
  • Anchorage to anchorage: 15 days, 0 hours, 40 min; 3,093 miles

Friday, Mar 8th – commenced heaving anchor and fell in line with rest of convoy.  Point De Petit Minion Beacon abeam. 1:38pm Aux Montons Light House abeam.; 1:57pm The Perfect Lighthouse abeam; 3:35pm sighted Le Croix Island.Rec’d orders from USS Truxton to proceed to Bordeaux instead of St. Naziere; weather cool and hazy, sea calm.  5:48pm sighted object which resembled periscope of submarine; order commence firing and general quarter signal sounded; 5:51pm gun commenced rapid firing at object, 10 shots were fired from 3”gun and 3 shots from 6” gun.  USS Truxton investigated object and reported it to be a buoy marking a wreck. Hits were scored from the last two shots of 6” gun, range 4,200 yards.  In convoy from Brest to Quiberon Bay.  6:35pm Belle Island Lighthouse abeam. 7:54pm dropped anchor at Belle Island in 11 fathoms of water.  Hove up anchor at 8:20pm and followed USS Truxton to another anchorage south about 4 miles.

Sat, Mar 9th – under way 5:55am, Peg Rock abeam 6:25am, Grand Cardinaux light abeam at 6:52am. 9:40am received signal from destroyer to change course, 11:28am sighted Isle Drier, Point du Corbeau light abeam at 12:45pm, Nazaire tower abeam at 3:10pm, sighted Grand Baige light at 3:47pm, 5:11pm Balaunes light house abeam, rec’d signal from escorting destroyer “follow me”, ship altered course following in destroyer wake, 6:35pm Chasserion light on starboard, 7:55pm let go anchor in Pallice Roads with 22 fathoms of chain in the water.

Sun, Mar 10th – swung anchor in at 2:45am with tide; signaled to passing destroyer “we are bound for Bordeaux, have you any orders?” They responded, “Southbound convoy will leave sometime today”, weather calm, sky clear, horizon hazy; Cheaveou light on starboard 9:45am; Chassiron light on port 10:45am; 1:15 sighted Point de la Coubre beacon; 1:58pm sighted Cordouan Light House; 2:23pm Point de la Coubre abeam per standard compass distance approx. 2 miles; 2:30pm passed north bound convoy.; rec’d message from vessel of convoy to take on pilot at Verdun Roads;  3:20pm slowed and took on pilot. Anchored near Tallis lightship at 4:04pm at 5:25pm set clocks ahead one hour.

Mon, Mar 11th – swung up anchor just after midnight, full speed ahead, 2:55am dropped anchor at Pauillac; anchored off Lazaret at 4:25am; French Police officials boarded at 8:20am and departed at 8:32am; warm weather; anchor aweigh at 3:15pm steamed up Gironde River and proceeded up to Bordeaux dropped anchor at 6:15pm and sent first line ashore; at 7:10pm Military Police (US Army) of corporal and three men stationed aboard; at 8:45pm Second Lieut Ellas representing Commanding General, Port of Debarkation rec’d field returns, classification list and report of insurance.

Tue, Mar 12 – Field Artillerymen and Machine Gun men were mustered ashore with their equipment; ship underway for Berth 1, American Docks, Bassens at 5pm, anchored at 5:50pm.  Men granted liberty until 9:30pm, 12 men returned 40 minutes overtime, 3 men returned 1 hr and 15 min overtime, 2 returned 18 hours sand 50 min overtime another was 23 ½ hours overtime [Alex was not among them].

Thurs, Mar 13 – SS Mexico of Havre while underway up the river in fog struck the Ticonderoga on port bow, carried away wire and manila moorings and drove her eastern into the bow of the SS Woonsocket, bow of the Ticonderoga damaged slightly, stern damaged more severely.

Fri, Mar 15 & Sat, Mar 16 – 8 men reboarded the ship having been absent without permission [Alex was not among them], a number of punishments were assigned each man losing 12 liberties.

Sun, Mar 17th – EW Mootz released from brig., discontinued unloading cargo out of hold #2 until repairs could be made, 6pm started coaling ship, 8:36pm pilot came aboard with sailing orders for the commanding officer; 11pm all cargo in hold #1 discharged, weather mild and clear.

Mon, Mar 18th – Stevadores at work in #2 hold, finished discharging cargo at 5am, put life boats back aboard, finished taking bunker coal, made preparations for getting underway, deck court was held and 8 men lost 10 days of liberties and pay varying from $11.97 to $23.94, anchored of Verdun Roads.

Wed, Mar 20th – ship heading north, crew stopped cleaning ship at 11:30am, Whaleboat from SS Munplace came alongside with sick man asking for ships doctor, ship left with patient after having rec’d instructions and medicine from doctor.

Thurs, Mar 21 – crew painting side

Fri, Mar 22 – motorboat from SS Munplace came alongside with 4 men needing medical attention.

Saturday, March 23 – A. Haines Bkr 2c admitted to the sick list, diagnosis tonsillitis  

Sun, Mar 24 – rec’d signal from escort to zig zag; 3:55pm notified by USS May to take position in the convoy; alarm bell rung for battle station followed by fire and boat drills.

Mon, Mar 25 – no ships of convoy in sight, started zig sagging, stopped at 12:40pm on the account of engine trouble, 3 American ships passed, 10:19pm engine repaired, full speed ahead, ship rolling slightly.

Tues, Mar 26 – mast held – JS Vanhorn, profanity 3 days bread and water and 12 days restriction to ship; LL Keenan abusive and profane language, 5 days restriction to ship.   Nathan Stern, neglect of duty and falsehood, loss of pay $23.93 and restricted to limits of ship for 20 days.

Thurs, Mar 28 – mast held – E. Metzdorf , disobedience of orders, 2 days of solitary confinement and bread and water. Baylor, skylarking and attention during reading A.G.N., 6 days restriction.  RJ Drew, skylarking and attention during reading A.G.N., 6 hours extra duty.  CB Frantz admitted to sick leave with tonsillitis.  1:15pm sighted Isle of Terceria

Mon, April 1st –Wind increased in violence, stopped engines for 12 minutes, then full steam ahead. Ship rolling, sea rough, ship pounded heavily under #2 tank several time between 8 and 10PM.

The following named men, by their good conduct and attention to duty, have earned advancement, and the Commanding Officer takes pleasure in promoting them to the next higher rank – 7 men are listed, among them: A. Haines, Baker 2c to Baker 1c

Tues, Apr 2nd – fire & boat drills, moderate sea, sighted 2 steamers

Thurs, April 4th – mast held – F.B. Berlucci refusing to obey orders, 5 days solitary confinement and on bread and water; N. Stern sleeping on duty,  refusing to obey orders, falsehood – to be tried by summary court martial.

Fri, Apr 5 – distant thunder and lightning; sighted a large unidentified steamer.

Mon, April 8 – 9:35pm let go of anchor, Statue of Liberty – Departure Verdon Road Mar 22 arrival NY April 8

Tues, April 9  – ship swinging side to side, cleared USS Iris by 20 feet, dropped anchor pier Oriental Mining, Staten Island.

Wed, Apr 10 – Gale driving ship to shoreward could not round NE End light ship so passed between it and the beach, let go anchor and sent out an SOS for assistance; 6:20pm passed Cape Henry light, sent signal for them to have Navy Yard send tug.

  • Arrival notes: New York to Newport News, VA Apr 9-Apr 12.

Fri, Apr 12 – two bags of mail brought onboard, Stevedores resumed work [Stevedore, dockworker, docker, dock labourer, wharfie and longshoreman can have various waterfront-related meanings concerning loading and unloading ships, according to place and country] .

Sat, Apr 13 – two naval tugs assisted in shifting berth, proceeded from Chespeak & Ohio dock to Government docks Norfolk, published the proceeding of court martial in the case of Nathan Stern, rec’d five bags fresh water, a variety of men left and reboarded ship, stevedores working. Water barge #56 came alongside to deliver 27,000 gallons of fresh water.

Sun, Apr 14 – Liberty party shoved off at noon, carpenters and stevedores resumed work (loading cargo from 7AM to midnight).

Mon, Apr 15 – 4 men were taken to the Naval Hospital and 4 others left the ship for dental work.  One bag of first class mail, 3 bags second class mail and 6 registered letters were brought aboard; diver worked on the propeller, stevedores working.

Tues, Apr 16 – Haines, Baker 1c (and a number of others) left the ship on 5 days leave of absence.

Wed, Apr 17 – stevedores resumed work, driver commenced work on screw, iron company men boarded to do work, a number of men left and reboarded, warm weather and clear the entire day, motor launch from Norfolk ship building came alongside and took part of the ships engine away (wheel) for repqir.

Thurs, Apr 18 – stevedores resumed work, liberty party, crew and various repairmen on and off ship.

Fri, Apr  19 – stevedores resumed work, caulker started recaulking deck, motor boat with meat provisions came alongside with 12 tons of commissary store, various crew members off and on ship.

Sat, Apr 20 – stevedores & caulkers resumed work, workman working on propeller,  Riverside came alongside with powder charges, cartridges and GSK stores), various crew off and on ship.

Sun, Apr 21 – stevedores & caulkers resumed work, #56 resumed giving 100,000 gallons of fresh water, commenced coaling, various crew off and on ship.

Mon, Apr 22 – Company D, 310 Battalion (Labor) boarded, stevedores & caulkers resumed work, various crew off and on ship.

Tues, Apr 23 – stevedores & caulkers resumed work, various crew off and on ship, Haines A. Bkr 1st class returned from 5 days leave of absence including travel time, Haines, A. and Tapply, G.S. were 2 hours and 40 minutes late; detachment of troops embarked consisting of 134 enlisted men.

Wed, Apr 24 – stevedores & caulkers resumed work, various crew off and on ship, life raft fell from roof of warehouse to dock in trying to lower aboard.

Thurs, Apr 25 – machinist working on ship engine resumed work, various crew off and on ship, Riverside delivered 15 barrels of oil; rec’d two bearing and anchor engine crank.

Fri, Apr 26 – pipefitters and machinists resumed work, various crew off and on ship, liberty party mustered and sent ashore.

Sat, Apr 27 – cast off lines from dock, docked Lamberts Point, began coaling, various crew off and on ship

Sun, Apr 28 – resumed coaling, ship underway 12:30pm, Craney Island abeam, Craney light abeam, Bush Bluff light abeam, first line to dock #9, various crew off and on ship.

Mon, Apr 29 – cast off pier 12, Newport News and proceeded towards sea 10:58am, cargo 5,113 tons, bunkers 1,444 tons, water 1,150 tons, stores 20 tons, data re cargo to be entered in the bridge log, took departure from Cape Henry fog horn. Passed Fortress Monroe, Fortress Woll, Thimble shoals, Winterquater buoy and lightship.

Tues, Apr 30 – passed Fenwick Island, Tuckers Beach, Barnegat Light, Sea Girt. Practiced abandoned ship drill, went under Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridge – first line ashore Brooklyn Navy Yard 6:35pm, various crew off and on ship.

Wed, May 1 – various crew off and on ship.

Thurs, May 2 – various crew off and on ship, several men transferred to the US Navy Hospital

Fri, May 3 – various crew off and on ship., received radio; steering, telegraph and whistle tested, 12:04 three tugs came alongside to assist us out , 12:30 full ahead, headed down the East River passed Governors Island , Statue of Liberty, Robbins Reef, Tompkins & Lafayette Forts, Hoffman’s Island, Northern Point Light, Union Island, West Bank Light, Buoy #14, Roamer Shoals Light, Ambrose L.V. Exchanged signals with Commodore. Thunder and Lightening followed by rain.  Following WB ship in convoy.

Sat, May 4 – Following WB ship in convoy, gear disabled and repaired.

Sun, May 5 – Following WB ship, ship pitching slightly to moderate –choppy sea

Mon, May 6 – Following WB ship, started zig zag course, put out fog buoy, hauled in fog buoy, ship dropped out of “Convoy not under command”.

Tues, May 7 – Following WB ship, captain personally held sick call, zig zagging

Wed, May 8 – Following WB ship

Thurs, May 9 – Following WB ship, VD ship dropped from column with damaged steering gear, zig zagging

Fri, May 10 – Following WB ship, rec’d order from Commodore to take position as leader of the W column

Sat, May 11 – Steaming in frontal formation, zig zagging

Sun, May 12 – Steaming in frontal formation, heavy fog set in, passed unidentified ship, zig zagging

Mon, May 13 – Steaming in frontal formation, took in fog buoy started zig sagging, ship rolling slightly to a choppy sea

Tues, May 14 – Guiding on Commodore, zig sagging, exchanged signals with the convoy, USS Charlestown (Ocean Escot) left convoy.

Thurs, May 16 – Steaming in frontal formation, zig sagging.

Fri, May 17 – Convoy separated, followed American Destroyers

Sat, May 18 – followed American Destroyers, passed Pte du Petit Minno lighthouse, arrival at Brest France,passed  Mengam Rock

  • Passage 14 days, 12 hours, 47 min – 3,101 miles bar to bar; coal consumed 382 tons

Sun, May 19 – passed Mengam Rock, Pte du Petit Minou, Tevenonee LH, LaVielle LH, Mana LH, Stine buoy, Isle de Penfiet, Isle de Croix, Leno Rk, Paulaine Light, La Tugnouse; let go anchor 8:11pm, 45 fathams cable

Mon, May 20 – underway 4:10am; passed Les Grand Gardinaux, Ide La Duex, Pte de la Francke, Pte de Corbean. Following punishments awarded – two given “warnings” (1) for clothing stowed under bunk and a dirty life preserver, (2)wearning non-regulation clothing; dirty hammock loss of 2 liberties, washing clothes during inspection loss of 2 liberties; wasting food by throwing it at another man, loss of 4 liberties; smoked on deck, loss of 3 liberties

Tues, May 21 – Army doctor came aboard to examine crew

Mon, May 27 – stevadores on board (discharging cargo), various men off and on ship

Tues, May 28 – 10:50 PM O’Grady return aboard from liberty 20 min overtime, intoxicated with intoxicating liquors and using obscene language.

Wed, May 29 – life boat damaged by crane #44, armed guard crew of SS Carolianian came aboard to be paid off by Paymaster.

Sat, Jun 1 – Old Bassens, Berth #5, Bordeaux France

Mon, Jun 3 – Liberty party returned 8 ½ hours overtime – reason, army trucks refused to take them back to ship as usual and they could not return otherwise. Began fumigating soldiers quarters.

Tues, Jun 4 – SS Black Arrow proceeded down river and rec’d salute of 3 whistles, a number of men boarded the ship for transportation to the US, since there was no suitable accommodation available they left.

Wed, Jun 5 – civilian crews of tugs sold to the French Government came aboard for transportation to the US.

Thurs, Jun 6 – Mootz E.W. to the brig for being drunk and disorderly.

Sat, Jun 8 – started back to the US (names a bunch of places passed while leaving)

Tues, Jun 11 – following ship ahead, exchanged signals with the convoy.

Thurs, Jun 13 – SS Armguay found missing at daybreak, sighted suspicious object, fired 3 shots, all clear

Thurs, Jun 20 – steaming in rear of convoy, rest of convoy out of sight

Sun, Jun 23 – 1:25pm reported that Naughtin, T.J. seaman in missing a thorough search was made from forward to aft without results; 3:00pm board of investigation met to investigate the death of Naughtin.

Mon, Jun 24 – carrier pigeon of Red Antwerp breed lighted on deck, was caught and examined, it was found to have a brass ring with #5484 and an aluminum ring with #37169 about its leg; Summary Court Martial convened trying Eannucci, J.

Tues, Jun 25 – Sighted schooner wrechm Chas W. Alcott, fired 4 shots scoring 4 shots from 2000 yards range

Thurs, Jun 27 – let go starboard anchor off Newport News 7:35am, immigration inspector came aboard to inspect passenger passports

Fri, Jun 28 – the 60 men carried as passengers from France left ship, several men were transferred to the naval hospital

Sat, Jun 29 – started scraping ships bottom, several men left on 5 day leave

Sun, Jun 30 – taking coal aboard (docked at Lamberts Point, Norfolk, VA)

Tues, Jul 2 – a number of men reported aboard for duty

Tues, July 9 – effects of Naughton, T.J. sea 2c U.S.N. taken ashore

Fri, Jul 12 – moved from Norfolk, VA and arrived in NY (lists running time and categories of cargo in tons)

Sat, July 13 – Full speed ahead, rec’d signal to take up position in convoy

Sat, Jul 20 – Boex, L.F.B while carrying a bottle along after well deck fell on same receiving severe cuts on left arm and hand.

Thurs, July 25 – SS Tippecanoe struck by a mine or torpedo on stern, battle quarters sounded and crew mustered on station, Tippercanoe was seen to sink at 9:14 GMT, 8 pm A.T.S., when last seen boats of Tippercanoe were together astern of ship.  Proceeded zig sagging.

Fri, July 26 – submarine sighted on starboard quarter, fired 3 shots at 4000 yards; 2 torpedo boat destroyers joined convoy.

Arrival La Pallice France, 14 days, 20 hours, 23 min; 3241 miles

Wed, July 31 – anchor at La Pallice Roads, France

Sat, Aug 3 – 115 troops of USAQMC mustered, baggage and accoutrements placed on board tug, proceeded to La Pallice.

Wed, Aug 7 – German prisoners on board to work cargo, liberty part left ship. Liberty party retured clean and sober.

Thurs, Aug 8 – German prisoners commenced unloading cargo

Fri, Aug 9 – Army Officers came aboard to look over repairs needed to ship and main engine.

Mon, Aug 12 – two men tried by deck court martial, each sentenced to lose 20 days pay and 20 days liberty.

Tues, Aug 13 – 8:30 pm base ball team returned aboard ship, liberty party returned clean and sober

Fri, Aug 16 – fire alarm sounded on dock, fire and rescue team of 30 men left ship

Mon, Aug 19 – 22 men boarded for passage to the US

Tues, Aug 20 –  sailed from La Pallice to Verdon Roads, France.

Wed, Aug 21 – 12:47pm sounded battle stations – a French ship opened fire on some unknown object outside of the nets.  Join convoy, steaming in rear of UX Ship.

Fri, Aug 23 – zig sagging, fog set in, all of the escort but two destroyers departed.  Passed empty lifeboat. 8:45 pm remaining destroyers left convoy

Tues, Aug 27 – 7PM SS Montosa reported submarine, sounded battle stations and crew mustered at stations, 8:25PM suspicious object off starboard quarter, fired 3 shells at a range of 6000 yards, 9pm all secured.

Sat, Aug 31 – stopped engine for repair 2:54pm, 3:14pm engine repaired, full steam ahead…

The log ends here with the boat at sea.  The final page simply remarks: Vessel Sunk October 6th 1918

Epilogue (from Wikipedia)

The Ticonderoga loaded another Army cargo at Norfolk between 5 and 19 September. She then steamed to New York where she joined a convoy bound for Europe. On 22 September, Ticonderoga cleared New York for the last time. During the night of the 29th and 30th, the transport developed engine trouble and dropped behind the convoy. At 05:20 the following morning, she sighted the German submarine U-152 running on the surface; and she cleared for action. For the next two hours, her gun crews fought the enemy in a losing battle. The U-boat’s gunners put her forward gun out of commission after six shots, but the 6-inch gun aft continued the uneven battle. Almost every man on board Ticonderoga — including her captain — suffered wounds. Eventually, the submarine’s two 5.9-inch guns succeeded in silencing Ticonderoga remaining gun. At 07:45, Ticonderoga slipped beneath the sea. Of the 237 sailors and soldiers embarked, only 24 survived. Twenty-two of those survivors were in one lifeboat and were picked up by the British steamer SS Moorish Prince four days later. The other two, the executive officer and the first assistant engineer, were taken prisoner on board the U-boat and eventually landed at Kiel, Germany, when U-152 completed her cruise. Ticonderoga’s name was subsequently struck from the Navy list.


Lieutenant Commander James Jonas Madison received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on the Ticonderoga.

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve Force. Born: May 20, 1884, Jersey City, N.J. Appointed from: Mississippi.


For exceptionally heroic service in a position of great responsibility as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, when, on 4 October 1918, that vessel was attacked by an enemy submarine and was sunk after a prolonged and gallant resistance. The submarine opened fire at a range of 500 yards, the first shots taking effect on the bridge and forecastle, 1 of the 2 forward guns of the Ticonderoga being disabled by the second shot. The fire was returned and the fight continued for nearly 2 hours. Lt. Comdr. Madison was severely wounded early in the fight, but caused himself to be placed in a chair on the bridge and continued to direct the fire and to maneuver the ship. When the order was finally given to abandon the sinking ship, he became unconscious from loss of blood, but was lowered into a lifeboat and was saved, with 31 others, out of a total number of 236 on board.[1]


James L. Mooney, editor, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Historical Sketches; 8 volumes(Washington: Naval Historical Center Department of the Navy, 1981), 7: 181-2, 209.

Claudia Bradley, Michael Kurtz, Rebecca Livingston, et al, compilers, Lists of Logbooks of US Navy Ships, Stations and Miscellaneous Units, 1801-1947; special list 44 (Washington: National Archives and Record Service – GSA, 1978), 275.

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