Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

52 Ancestors, week #15 – Louis Napoleon Chalifour – UPDATE!!

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

My husband ran into a cousin, who mentioned her mom was interested in genealogy.  He returned home and asked “does the name Napoleon ring a bell?”  Yes, husband, we have talked extensively about Napoleon….he is your g-grandfather.   Husband says, “I thought the name sounded familiar, I can’t remember all these people!”

 

I took a French Genealogy class at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) years ago, and was able to trace Napoleon back to Mathurin Chalifour born abt 1593 in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, France.  My husband’s response when I shared the news: “You mean I am French?”…. “Yes, dear, where did you think the French Canadians came from? Australia?  🙂

Chalifour

Chalifour La Rochelle

Mathurin Chalifour’s son Paul Chalifour, the first in the line to immigrate to Quebec was 15 years old during the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627.  The Siege of La Rochelle (French: Le Siège de La Rochelle, or sometimes Le Grand Siège de La Rochelle) was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627–28. The siege marked the apex of the tensions between the Catholics and the Protestants in France, and ended with a complete victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics. During the siege, the population of La Rochelle decreased from 27,000 to 5,000 due to casualties, famine, and disease.

Paul Chalifour (master carpenter specializing in putting up timber-work) is the only child of Mathurin  who later appears in Canada (he married there in 1648).  We don’t know if he had siblings and what became of them and his parents.  He likely lost many relatives and friends in the siege

The remaining Protestants of La Rochelle suffered new persecutions, when 300 families were again expelled in November 1661, the year Louis XIV came to power. The reason for the expulsions was that Catholics deeply resented a degree of revival of Protestant ownership of property within the city.

The episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” featuring Tom Bergeron which first aired on 30 Aug 2015 recounts the horrific details of these ancestors who were subjected to starvation and religious persecution: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are/videos/tom-bergeron/.

Louis Napoleon “Napoleon” Chalifour, a descendant of Mathurin and Paul is the subject of today’s sketch.  He was born to Jean Elie Chalifour and Helene Gagnon and baptized 29 January 1879, in Plessisville, Québec, Canada.

ed1715d5-6e1c-427e-98f3-0188651b5761

 

Napoleon baptism

Napoleon has not yet been located in the 1881 and 1901 censuses.

In 1891, Napoleon, age twelve (placing his birth at about 1889), is found residing in Plessisville (also known as  the village of Somerset) with his widowed mother and a few siblings.  He was enumerated as Louis Chalifour.

He married, in Montreal, Marie Josephine Rose de Lima LeBlanc, daughter of Antoine LeBlanc and Herméline Thuot, on 5 Feb 1902, in Quebec (she was an Acadian who is the link between my husband and I – we are 7th, 8th & 9th cousins through multiple lines!).

The marriage record names Napoleon’s parents and indicates his father is deceased and his mother is of Saint Cecilia de Valleyfield (she likely moved to be near or with family; Napoleon’s sister Beatrice married two years earlier, in 1900, and at that point, their widowed mother was said to be of Plessisville).

8d14d683-7c3c-44cf-bbb9-873927729097wior

marriage

transcription.png

Napoleon had four sons – Henry, Leon Pierre, Louis Albert and George between 1903 and 1907.  My husband descends from Albert.

In 1911, the family lived in Jacques-Cartier, Quebec.  They are Catholic, primary language is French, and Napoleon is in construction. Napoleon is listed as age 32 and his birth as January 1879.

Napoleon census 1911

Napoleon emigrated to Salem, Massachusetts (my husband’s birthplace) before May 1915 – the date when his family crossed the border, claiming they were to join him.

manifest

The family lived together on Foster Street in 1920. A 43 year old Napoleon, which places his birth at about 1878, was listed as a house carpenter who had applied for naturalization.  He is listed in the 1922, 1924 and 1926 city directories, as a carpenter, at this address.

Napoleon census

That’s where the trail ends. The 1927 and 1928 city directories are not available online.  In the 1929 & 1930 city directories and 1930 census, his wife is listed as a widow. The only Chalifour’s listed in the 1926 to 1930 Massachusetts death index are Alfred J A, Elie and James Henry all of Salem. A Declaration of Intent to become Naturalized has not been found.

Family lore says: “We do not know when Napoleon died as he went to Pennsylvania to find work, and no one ever heard from him after that.  He may have been killed in a log-jam as he was working there. ”

Napoleon was in Pennsylvania, years earlier, working as a Carpenter, in 1918, when he registered for the WWI draft.  He lists a birth date of 27 July 1870 and names Rose Chalifour of Salem, Massachusetts as his wife and nearest relative.  The birth year is a bit off (perhaps an error, or he was trying to make himself appear older to avoid military service).

WWI draft.png

So… Napoleon is on my “list” of folks to research this summer. Did he return to Pennsylvania? To date, I haven’t found any evidence to support this nor have I located a record of his death there (Pennsylvania death certificates are online at Ancestry.com).

UPDATE: 22 August 2016

A Napoleon Chalifour  registered for the draft in 1942 in Oklahoma.

This Napoleon is listed as 5’5″, 160 pounds with blue eyes, blonde hair and ruddy complexion.  The WWI draft card list’s my husband’s Napoleon as medium height, stout build with blue eyes and brown hair – not exactly a similar description….other than the blue eyes.

But, he claims a birth of 27 January 1878 in Plessisville, Canada. This birth day (January 27th) matches that of the WWI draft record.

All baptisms were examined in Plessisville and there was only one Napoleon listed in that parish in that time period. Yes, my husband’s “missing” g-grandfather, who was baptized 29 January 1879.

Napoleon draft card

pg two.png

Further, there was only one other Chalifour family baptizing children in Plessisville in that time frame (records were examined from 1854 to 1885).  Hilaire Chalifour and his wife, Flavie Moreau baptized a son Georges in April of 1879, thus it is unlikely that they also had a son Napoleon that same year who’s baptism went unrecorded. Note that baptisms were recorded individually, implying the children were baptized soon after birth (vs. having to travel to a priest or wait until a traveling priest was in town to baptize multiple children at once).

Last, my husband has a 2nd-3rd cousin Autosomal DNA match on 23andme to another descendant of Jean Elie Chalifour and Helene Gagnon through their son Elie, so it is pretty likely hubby’s Napoleon is the one baptized in Plessisville and the one who appears later in Oklahoma.

In 1942, Napoleon’s close contact (at the same address) is Mary Chalifour.

The 1940 census lists Napoleon and Mary as husband and wife living in Crutcho, Oklahoma.  Napoleon’s occupation is “carpenter”.  The same occupation as my husband’s Napoleon.

1940.png

A Find-A-Grave entry lists  a Napoleon Chalifour buried at Fairlawn Cemetery, Oklahoma City

Birth: 1879 – Death: 1947
grave

A note on Mary’s record reads:

Birth:

1882 Toronto Ontario, Canada

Death:

Jun. 29, 1949 Oklahoma County Oklahoma, USA

Died of cancer at St Anthony Hospital. Lived in the United States about 30 years. No living relatives are known.

A social security death claim was made for Napoleon Chalifour in 1947:

Name:

Napoleon Chalifour

SSN:

444100923

Birth Date:

27 Jan 1876

Birth Place:

Verdun, France

Death Date:

1 Mar 1947

Claim Date:

11 Mar 1947

Type of Claim:

Death Claim

Notes:

10 Nov 1977: Name listed as NAPOLEON CHALIFOUR

Note that the birth year and place differ from the 1942 draft registration (but the date is again listed as 27 January).

Other records have not been located – I primarily searched for a marriage record to Mary, the 1930 census, his application for Naturalization, death certificate and obituary. I also searched for the Napoleon of Oklahoma in earlier records without success; this negative result is another indicator that Napoleon of Oklahoma and Napoleon of Salem are the same person.

A comparison of the 1918 and 1942 signatures are inconclusive.   It is interesting that both sign as Nap not Napoleon. The C in Chalifour is similar.

Np signature.png

I ordered Napoleon of Oklahoma’s SS-5 (social security application) to see who he named as parents and to match up the signature with that of the draft cards!  Note that social security numbers beginning with 444-10 were issued in Oklahoma from 1936-1950, so this neither supports or disproves the theory……  A copy of the application, completed by Napoleon, should arrive within 3 weeks  Stay tuned!

UPDATE 3 September 2016

The SS-5 has arrived!  Napoleon Chalifour of Oklahoma likely filled out the application, dated 17 July 1937, where he names his parents as Eli Chalifour and Helen Gagnon (a match to the man baptized in Plessisville, Canada and to the man who married Josephine Rose de Lima LeBlanc)  and a birthdate of 27 January 1876 (matching the birth month/day of the Napoleon of Salem; he perhaps added four years to his age to claim Social security benefits earlier?).

He does report a birth place of Verdun, France (perhaps he was fearful the government would identify him as the missing Salem man? or perhaps this fib makes it less likely they would have the ability to disprove the 1876 birth year).

However, the signature on the SS-5 and employer [Mack Denny/ MH Denney] matches that of the 1942 WWII draft card, where he reports a birth year of 1878 and place of Plessisvill[e], Canada

Despite a few inconsistencies, this further supports the theory that Napoleon of Salem and Napoleon of Oklahoma are the same man.

SS5 Napoleon.jpg

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A Potential Breakthrough! – Jennie Ferguson

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

This post tells what I know of Jennie Ferguson’s life (click here).

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

** Jennie’s birth year ?

  • The Boston Globe death notice lists her as age 82 (b. abt 1856) Her death certificate puts her age at 74 (b. 1864);
  • Her gravestone reads 1858-1938;
  • the 1880 census puts her age at 22, b. abt 1858 (assuming it is really her and not someone of the same name – she is working as a domestic);
  • She is listed as age 23 when she married in 1882 (b. abt 1859);
  • the 1900 census lists a birth date of Jun 1866, age 33 and says she was married 18 years. If correct, this would put her age 15 at marriage;
  • the 1910 census gives her age as 51 (b. 1859);
  • 1930 census, there is a woman of the same name as an inmate at a hospital in Boston, age 73, b. 1857 – not sure if this is her as she supposedly owned and was living in a house in Billerica (no records in Billerica have been located – land deeds of Middlesex North are not online and I have not had the opportunity to visit)
  • If she is really the Jane Ferguson in the 1861 Canadian census (mentioned herein), her age was 4, thus she was b. abt 1857

jennie-ferguson-haines

Jennie relocated to Boston in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s where she likely was employed as a servant. She married there on 7 March 1882. Her husband was William John “John” Haines, born 7 Mar 1856 in Richibucto, son of John Haines/Hains and Alice Edith Childs. They likely knew each other before arrival in Boston, from Richibucto, as Jennie was a best friend to John’s sister Mary Haines (according to Mary’s diary).  The marriage record names Jennie’s parents as John and Elizabeth. The Rev. John Hood, who married them, is listed in Boston City Directories in that time period at United Presbyterian, corner of Berkeley and Chandler Streets (the church record of this marriage has not been located).

An entry in Mary Haines’s diary reads:

26 January 1882: “John came over from Chelsea this evening. We had a lovely time together. Jenny Ferguson my dear friend came down from Richibucto. She was here tonight.  Just came on the boat today. I am so glad to see her. She is my dearest friend” [ship manifest not located].

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

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

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

Other children’s names may offer clues: Ella May, Margaret Elizabeth, Minnie and Jennie (Edith, Alexander, John and Joseph are Haines family names). Mary Haines’ diary mentions her closest friend besides Jennie is Minnie Gordon, was Jennie’s daughter named after this Minnie? Minnie has not been identified in records, but there was a Gordon family who resided near or next door to Elizabeth (Potts) Ferguson, Jennie’s probable grandmother, in 1861 in Weldford, Kent New Brunswick.

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

1861 Ferguson Family

In Weldford Parish, Kent, New Brunswick, 1861 (census page 27), an Elizabeth Ferguson was enumerated with her “brother” Archibald and his two nieces, 4-year old Jane (a common nickname for Jennie) and infant Jepie (perhaps Jessie). Further research places the family in South Branch, a village about twelve miles from Richibucto. Mary Haines’ diary circa 1880-1883 mentions her visit home to Weldford.

south branch

1861

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

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

1861 elizabeth

The Robert Ferguson named in this census as a son of Elizabeth Ferguson, filed a delayed birth record in 1932 where he names his parents as William Ferguson and Betsy Potts, he writes that his mother had 6 children, all of whom were living.  If Elizabeth had eight children, he would have been Elizabeth’s 6th child in birth order: (1) John Graham, (2) Jane, (3) Elizabeth, (4) Archibald, (5) Agnes, (6) Robert, (7) Andrew, (8) Mary.  Or if his statement is accurate, it is possible two of these children were not born to Elizabeth (a land deed, discussed later in this narrative, names children 2-8 as heirs of William Ferguson).

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

delayed birth.jpg

The marriage of this couple was published:

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

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

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

land deeds ferguson.jpg

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

land purchase.png

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth potts death

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

map.png

Weldford Scots.png

Kent County probate records were destroyed by fire, however an 1869 a deed was filed that names the heirs of William Ferguson:

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

william heirs

page 2

Marriage

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

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

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

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

1871

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

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

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

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

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

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

childs feg marriage

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

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

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

john childs grave

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

Elizabeth Childs death

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

Jennie’s best friend, Mary Haines’s grandson Ralph Stevens, inherited a photo from Mary’s collection. Mary kept in touch with her uncle James and his wife, the photo was included with a letter by Elizabeth (Mitchell) Childs.  The photo reads: These are Bertha and Billy Childs my half bro. + sis. Don’t you like my little Billy boy? Yes, he is a little darling + mouse.

Billy and Bertha

 

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

Hattie Childs.jpg

Maps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kingston.png

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

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

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

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

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

death jessie

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

jacob grave.jpgjacob2

elizabeth graveagnes death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Ancestry.com tester, bwest984, matches my uncle at 26.8 cMs and me at 19.6cMs.  She is a 2nd g-grandaughter of William Ferguson and Betsey Potts, thus my uncle’s 3rd cousin 1x removed (they should share 0-156 cMs) and my 3rd cousin 2x removed (we should share 0-82 cMs) .

Untitled.png

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

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

My Brick Wall – Brian Hall b. 1727 Bristol County

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

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

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

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

Brian Hall tree.png

RESEARCH QUESTION:

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

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

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

BIRTH RECORDED:

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

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

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

Brian's birth.png

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

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

The 1733 Raynham tax list shows only one John Hall.

1733 tax list.jpg

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

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

PUBLISHED WORKS:

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

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

Halls of NE.png

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mary morey.png

The actual will (copy in my files) reads:

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

THEORIES

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

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

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

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

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

POTENTIAL THEORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TIMELINE

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

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

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

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

Brian Hall Grave Norton Common Cemetery.jpg

QUESTIONS:

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

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

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

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

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

land deed

PLAN:

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

 

Remember When Your Mother Said “Don’t Trust Everything You Read?”

Most of us newbies made the same mistakes, “back in the day”.  We viewed Ancestry.com trees or Googled our ancestors and added everything found, as “fact”, to our tree.

Years later we are still correcting errors added from those damn trees!

But what about published books?  They are correct, right?  NO!!!!!!!

Unless the book lists sources, and you see the source with your own eyes, you should be leery of publications. Obviously some are better than others.  I trust NGSQ articles, recently accepted DAR application (many of the older ones are unsourced) or  publications by well known genealogists like Thomas W Jones, CG℠, CGL℠ or Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG℠, CGL℠.  But if possible, I still seek out original sources for my files.

One that has been a problem for me for a long time? A book: “The Halls of New England. Genealogical and biographical”. By David B. Hall, published Albany, N.Y., Printed for the author by J. Munsell’s Sons, 1883.

This “Bible” which has been used by many New England, Hall researchers, for generations, is riddled with errors.

George Hall, was an early Taunton, Massachusetts settler, who’s ancestry is given on pages 567-648.  As of this writing, 195 Ancestry.com tree users, copied the text exactly!

John Hall.jpg

HALLS NARRATIVE:

The writer lists a son of George Hall as:

(Lt) John b. 1640 d. 1693 m. Hannah Penniman, their children:

  1. John b. 1672
  2. Joseph b. 1674
  3. James b. 1675
  4. Benjamin b. 1677
  5. Sarah b. 1678 (died young)
  6. Jacob b. 1680
  7. Hannah b. 1682, m. Samuel Haskins

He then goes on to claim that John and Hannah’s son John d. 1768 (age 96) m. Elizabeth King, their children:

  1. John d. 1766
  2. Judith m. John Tisdale
  3. Phillip and perhaps others

A review of Bristol County, Massachusetts land deeds (available free at FamilySearch.org) offers alternate information.

Book 57/Page 110  – This deed indicates that Lt. John’s son, John, was deceased by 1747 – so he couldn’t have died in 1768!  It further indicates that Lt. John’s daughter Hannah was in 1747 married to John Andrews (which may or may not be her first husband, but this husband is not listed in Hall’s narrative – he lists Samuel Haskins).

We don’t know why all of the grandchildren of James are named and only one grandchild, John, is named of John.  Were Phillip and Judith actually associated with this family?

….Agreement made 22 May 1747 by Joseph & Jacob Hall of Raynham, yeoman; Benjamin Hall of Raynham cordwainer John Andrews of Norton yeoman and Hannah his wife children of Lt John Hall late of Taunton and John Hall of Raynham, yeoman, grandson of the deceased and James Hall, Nathan Hall,  Marey Hall, Edmund Hall, David Hall all of Raynham husbandman and grandchildren of deceased and coheirs, children of James Hall deceased late of Raynham who was the son of Lt John Hall deceased have come to Agreement on division of land…

The following page continues item #5 states….John Hall in right of his father John Hall deceased….

deed 1.jpg

The deed was not filed until thirty years later, in 1777; this might be the source of Hall’s confusion. It is typical for deeds to be recorded years later – your ancestors may have lived a distance from the courthouse, couldn’t afford the filing fees, just didn’t bother to file until they were ready to sell the land or their heirs were settling the estate.

Book 24 page 72 and page 74 & book 27 page 557– give us further information. It appears that if John, Judith and Phillip are Lt John Hall’s grandchildren, then their father John died before 19 June 1729 – at least 40 years before Hall’s notation of 1768!  These pages seem to indicate that John’s daughter did marry John Tisdale.  But we discover a second unmentioned daughter, Mehitable, who married Nehemiah Dean. We also discover that Lt. John’s widow, Hannah, likely remarried a man named Haskins

dated 19 June 1729…..John and Judith Tisdale of Taunton have received of our brother John Hall of Taunton the sum of 130 pounds which we receive as our full part and portion out of the estate of John Hall late of said Taunton (our honored father) who died intestate and also out of the real estate of Hannah Haskins late of said Taunton deceased (our honored grandmother)…..

dated 26 July 1733…..Nehemiah and Mehitable Dean his wife, both of Norton have received of our brother John Hall of Raynham 130 pounds full part of honorable father John Hall of Taunton deceased and grandmother Hannah Haskins late of Taunton….

dated 29 June 1739…Phillip Hall of Raynham, yeoman, for 200 pounds paid by John Hall my brother of the same town of Raynham aforesaid yeoman – rights in estate of Honored father John Hall late of Taunton and grandmother Hannah Haskins late of Taunton

…. wait Haskins – grandmother Hannah Haskins? maybe Hannah (Penniman) Hall married Samuel Haskins?? vs. her daughter marrying him as Hall’s book surmises?  Hannah born abt 1682 would have been “marrying age” (20) in 1702, but it seems more likely, based on the language in these deeds, that her mother Hannah (Penniman) Hall married Samuel!

hannah marriage

Book 16, page 310 – tells us that John was alive in 1700 when the deed was signed,  but we don’t know if he was alive in 1725 when the deed was filed.

….Hannah Hall widow of Lieutenant John Hall deceased and her sons Joseph, James, Benjamin & Jacob all of Taunton, for 5 pounds to the eldest son John of said John Hall deceased…twenty acres of land…Taunton, eastward from the meeting house….six acres….on the Neck Plain so called and ten acres of land bounded Eastward by 6 acres of plain and westward by the land of Phillip King and four acres of land joining to the northward side. Ten acres of land is bounded Eastward, Northward and Westward by the land of Thomas Dean which twenty acres of the land by agreement and settlement of the estate of the above Lieutenant John Hall deceased did belong to the above Hannah Hall during her natural life…. but now said Hannah Hall and her sons….grant to said John Hall….

deed 2

I did find the probate record of Hannah Haskins, 1726, in Taunton, which seems to mention the “Hall Division” and names Jacob, John and James.  This seems to indicate that Hannah (Hall) Penniman did remarry and thus we are pretty sure John, father of John, Judith, Mehitable and Phillip is the son of Lt. John since grandmother Hannah Haskins is named in the deeds. It further seems plausible as John did have brothers Jacob and James…..  Of course additional research is needed.

[Note: Bristol book 17: page 167 dated November 1926 where Benjamin sells land of his deceased mother to his brother in law John Andrews is further evidence that that Hannah Haskins who’s estate was settled in 1726 was his mother and that Hannah married to John Andrews, his sister].

Hannah Haskins

Hannah probate

Further examination of probate records reveals a John Hall junior of Taunton with a sister Hannah and wife Elizabeth who died about 1708. This is likely Lt John Hall’s son.  He passed a 60 years before the date attributed to his death in Hall’s book – perhaps a typo on Hall’s part, yet copied into at least 195 Ancestry.com trees and likely hundreds more on other sites and private genealogies!

There is quite a bit of research that can be done which could add further details and perhaps correct additional errors, including an analysis of the land descriptions.

My interest is to examine all the Hall deeds to identify the parents of my ancestor Brian Hall b. 1727 to John 3rd and Mary.  Brian was a cordwainer (shoemaker) who may have apprenticed with a relative.  I examined this set of deeds with interest, since Lt. John’s son Benjamin Hall is identified as a cordwainer, who would have been about 50 when Brian was born.

———————————————————————

How to find Massachusetts Land Records in Bristol County

Click here https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2106411, Select Bristol County, and open first the Grantor Index (seller), then the Grantee Index (buyer) for the time period you are seeking. Make note of the book and page number for your ancestors.

Grantor Index for Brian Hall

grantor Brian.jpg

Return to the original link, select the appropriate book # and then search for the page.

It is faster to search on the Registry of Deeds, just type book and page under “Recorded Land” site: http://www.tauntondeeds.com/Searches/ImageSearch.aspx; here you can only view the images.  They are $1 to download, but free to view and free to download on the Family Search site.

deeds

 

My Acadian 30 – week #4, Docité/Dosithée Roy

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER VERSION!

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

yvonne roy

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

Week #1 – Yvonne Marie (Roy) Billings

Week #2 – Pius/Paul Dost Roy

Week #3 –  Marie Laura “Laura” Melanson

Generation 3

4. Docité OR Dosithée Roy, son of Joseph Roy/Roi and Angélique Beliveau, was born on 29 Jul 1857  and was baptized the following day at Saint-Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in Bouctouche, Kent, New Brunswick, Canada.  His godparents were Agnes Roy (paternal aunt) and Pacifique Beliveau (maternal uncle).

Docité was Joseph’s fifth known child and Angélique’s first.  He joined the following siblings:

(1) Cyrille –  Joseph’s son from his first marriage to Henriette Legere, baptized  20 November 1847, St-Jean Parish  in Bouctouche.

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

(3) Libie (Lébée/Lybie?)– Joseph’s daughter from his first marriage, baptized 28 Dec 1851, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche; godparents were François Roy and Vénérande Savoie (Docité’s paternal grandparents) It is possible that she died young, was adopted and/or the name “Libie” is in error, as it is not a “typical” name of the place/time. To date, she has not been found in other records.

(4) Hippolite – Joseph’s son from his first marriage, baptized 9 Feb 1853, in St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche; godparents were Louis Legere and Olive LeBlanc. He was not living with the Roy family in any census year and according to his marriage record, was adopted after his mother’s death by Eustache Poirier and his wife Cecile Legere (daughter of Simon Legere and Marie-Rose Arsenault and his mother Henriette’s biological cousin). He resided with them in 1871 in Grande-Digue and was enumerated as Hyppolyte Poirier. It is unknown whether he had a relationship with his biological family, nonetheless, with the exception of this census, all records seem to indicate that he used the Roy surname for his lifetime.

baptism dos

church

Although the church pictured in 1893 is in the same location as the 1857 church, the actual church where Docité was baptized, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1886. It was rebuilt only to be destroyed again by fire on 18 December 1921.  This is a beautiful spot, overlooking the cemetery where many Acadian ancestors are buried, offering picturesque ocean views, as they walked to attend church services (albeit chilly in wintertime).

After the second loss, the parish had a difficult decision to make. The convent, church, priest’s residence and the cemetery had been the center of the village life, even though the village was located some two kilometers away. Family members were buried in the cemetery and many didn’t want to “abandon” them. Others argued that the spot was subject to very severe climate and attending services was becoming more difficult. Finally the parishioners made the difficult decision to rebuild the church and priest’s residence in a calmer spot in the village.

The first priest’s residence of Bouctouche, (left in top photo) has been converted to a lovely (reasonably priced) country inn called Auberge le Vieux Presbytere; where I stayed for two nights in 2014.

DSC_8890

1861 Canadian Census

In 1861, 4-year-old Docité and his family resided on a farm in the Parish of Wellington, Kent County (which included the area of St. Mary’s Parish until 1867) and used the surname King (English translation of Roy); they were Roman Catholic.

1861 census

  • Joseph, junior, age 31, farmer  [Docité’s father]
  • Angélique, age 29, wife [Docité’s mother]
  • Ceril, age 14, son [likely Docité’s half-brother, Cyrille, from his father’s first marriage to Legere, baptized  20 November 1847]
  • Peter, age 12, son [likely Docité’s half-brother, Pierre, from his father’s first marriage to Legere, baptized 30 November 1849]
  • Docité, age 4, son 
  • Cephor, age 3, son [likely Sifroi, baptized 12 November 1858, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparent was Charles Maillet]
  • Onriette, age 1, daughter [likely Henriette, baptized 2 December 1860, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Jean C. Maillet and Marraine Henriette Bastarache]

Next door (or on a farm nearby) are Docité’s likely paternal relatives:

  • Frank, junior, age 63, widower, farmer [Docité’s grandfather, Francois – According to Stephen White’s “La généalogie des trente-sept familles, hôtesses des « Retrouvailles 94 »  – SAVOIE , his wife, Vénérande,  died in Bouctouche 27 May 1858, when Docité was still an infant]
  • Olive. age 39, daughter [likely Docité’s aunt]
  • Onyez [Agnes ?], age 37, daughter [likely Docité’s aunt and godmother]
  • Frank, senior, age 92, lodger [likely Docité’s paternal g-grandfather – Francois]

Docité’s father had 33 acres, of which 20 had been improved, valued at $150, with other farm machinery valued at $20.  He had no employees.  Docité’s grandfather’s farm was quite similar (details in a future sketch).

His dad Joseph’s animals included: two horses; two milk cows; two working oxen; four sheep; and six swine/pigs.

He reported slaughtering 400 pounds of pork; netted eight pounds of wool; and created $20 of cloth (or similar manufactured products).  Eight acres of land was dedicated to production of hay (he netted three tons).  The farm produced 30 bushels of wheat (from three acres), eight bushels barley (from 1/2 acre), 50 bushels oats (from four acres), twelve bushels buckwheat (from one acre) and 300 bushels potatoes (from three acres).

The farm was likely situated in Bouctouche in the area labelled “Francis King” on the map (No100) below.  Docité’s paternal grandmother, Vénérande,  died in Bouctouche in 1858; this further strengthens the case that they resided there.

Land deeds for Docité’s parents and grandparents have not yet been examined.  The known grantor/grantee indexes for the Roy/King surnames in Kent County from 1827 to 1941 can be found here: New Brunswick Roy deeds

Francis King land

1861 agriculture frank and joseph

The census reported that none of the children had attended school the prior year.  When Docité was a child, schooling was largely through traveling teachers who served many villages at once. It was not until the time of the Canadian Confederation, in 1867, that the Acadians were able to re-establish some semblance of their pre-expulsion society. At that time, schools were founded (although education was not highly valued in many areas and the offerings were not ideal for several decades) and the people began taking an active part in political life (as Catholic’s they were previously denied the right to vote or participate in the legislature). Although many continued to lived in abject poverty; a contributing factor being that Acadian farmers primarily held land along the coast, in less fertile areas.

On 8 July 1867, a week after the Confederation, Le Moniteur, the first French newspaper of the Maritimes, began to be published weekly in Shediac (although its start was a bit bumpy, and there were a few stops and starts along the way, it was published until 1926). This aided with Acadian efforts to improve their situation by providing a platform for them to express ideas to aid in solving the problems they faced, it’s motto being “Notre langue, notre religion et nos coutumes” – “Our language, our religion, our customs”.

1871 Canadian Census

In 1871 Docité and family were enumerated (with four additional children) in the newly formed parish of St. Mary’s in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent (Olivier born 1870 was the first Roy child baptised in Ste Marie at Mont-Carmel), which in 1871 had a population of 100. Docité’s parents were unable to read or write (this question was only asked of those over age 20) but presumably no one in the family could read or write as none of the children were attending school.

  • Joseph, 42, cultivateur (farmer), can not read or write
  • Angelique, 40, can not read or write
  • Docitée, 13  
  • Sigefroi,12
  • Henriette,10
  • Sylvain, 9 [ baptized 12 December 1861, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Sylvain Maillet and Marraine Jeanette LeBlanc. Joseph’s middle name is given as Francois]
  • Cécile, 5 [baptized 4 June 1866, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Cyrille Roy and Cecile Allain]
  • Vitál, 8 [likely baptized 30 March 1868, St-Jean Parish in Bouctouche. Godparents were Edouard and Marraine Genevieve Belliveau.  Note that his mother is recorded as “Julie”, this was the only record in the parish that was likely the correct baptism for Vital, perhaps Julie is in error and it was meant to be Judith. His marriage record names Judith as his mother, and when he travels to the US in 1916 he gives a contact in Canada as a brother Sylvain.]
  • Olivier, 10 months [baptized 5 June 1870, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel. Godparents were _____ Maillet and _____ Richard]

Joseph’s sons Cyrille and Pierre are residing together nearby, in Saint Marie, with Agnes Roy [sister of Joseph].  No other members of the King/Roy family were found nearby in 1861. A widowed Frances Roi, of the correct age to be Docité’s grandfather was found in Wellington residing with the family of Joseph & Mary Ferware (enumerated as Jerway in 1861 and two census pages away from the Roy’s in Wellington), perhaps Fougere?

Docité’s father, in 1871, seemed to own significantly more acreage than he did in 1961.  He had 125 acres of which 30 were improved and 12 were pasture (they did not have a garden). There were two dwelling houses on the property, one of which was uninhabited.  They had one barn or stable, two carriages or sleighs, 2 cars/wagons or sleds and one plough or cultivator.

Animals included:  one horses over 3 years old; two working oxen; three milk cows; one “other horned cattle”; six sheep – 6 (one was killed or sold for slaughter/export); five swine/pigs (one was killed or sold for slaughter/export)

The farm produced eight acres of wheat crops on which he netted the followings bushels – 30 of spring wheat (sown in the spring and is harvested in the fall), seven of barley, 60 of oats and 90 of buckwheat.  He had four acres of potatoes which netted 125 bushels.  He had two acres of hay which netted three ton of 2,000 lbs or bundles of 16 lbs of hay and 40 bushels of apples.  The sheep netted 20 pounds of wool which produced 60 yards of home-made cloth or flannel.

Joseph did not appear to be involved with fishing, forestry or mineral products.  It is possible that he was involved with steel/iron as a Blacksmith “Ouvrages et réparations de Forgerons en tout genre” (Works and Repairs of Blacksmith of all kinds).  The schedule has a line through his name, it is unknown if the enumerator crossed this out or if it was done later – he was only involved in the business for 1/2 a month and although he had $40 in capital only made a few dollars. It could be a business that was discontinued that census year but was perhaps run in years prior.

1871 Canadian Census

1871 census bldgs

1871 census agriculture

1871 animals

1871 blacksmith

Sixteen people died in St Marie the prior year, most from consumption, malaria or diarrhea.  There were two Roy cousins of Docité – schedule here.  Docité’s grandfather, who had lived near them in 1861, Francois Roy,  died 25 April 1875.

Docité became a Cultivateur [farmer].  He married first, on 2 Feb 1880, at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel, Genevieve Cormier daughter of the deceased Aimé Cormier and deceased Henriette Roy after being granted dispensation for the 4th degree of double consanguinity (meaning they were 3rd cousins two different ways  – 3rd cousins share 2nd g-grandparents).

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

Genevieve died six months later, at age 19 (cause unknown), on 24 Aug 1880 and was buried 27 Aug at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel.

marriage 1

1881 Canadian Census

In 1881, Docité continues to reside in the parish of Sainte-Marie (his parents have one additional child):

  • Joseph, 52, cultivateur (farmer)
  • Angelique, 51
  • Silvin [Sylvain], 19
  • Aurietta [Henriette], 20
  • Cecille [Cécile], 15
  • Vitál, 13
  • Olivier, 11
  • Jude, 7 [baptized 24 June 1873, at Ste. Marie de Mont-Carmel. Godparents were Dosite Roy and Domtilda Cormier]
  • Docitée, 23 was listed as a widower and enumerated separately [the day after the remainder of the family was recorded, see margin notes], it appears that he resided on the same farm.

Jude and Vital were attending school (Olivier, age 11, was not marked as in school which may have been an enumerator error, although 1901, 1911 and 1921 censuses specify he can not read or write).

1881 census

The first Acadian National Convention was held 20/21 July 1881 in Memramcook.  About 5,000 Acadians participated, although in reality only about 200 actively participated in discussions. They spoke of many things including emigration, religion, education, political issues,  trade, farming and industry. There they selected the Acadian Holiday – 15 August, the day of the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

According to Wikipedia, The flag of Acadia was adopted on 15 August 1884, at the second Acadian National Convention held on Prince Edward Island with nearly 5,000 Acadian delegates from across the Maritimes. It was designed by Father Marcel-Francois Richard, a priest from Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick. The Musée Acadien at the Université de Moncton has the original flag presented by Father Richard to the 1884 Convention. It was sewn by Marie Babineau.

1280px-Flag-of-Acadia

On 18 August 1881, Docité sold eight acres of land, in the Parish of St Mary’s, to Maxime and Louis Cormier  (Book A-2 page 175) for the sum of $25.   The land was on the South side of the Bouctouche River, on the East bounded by Thomas Nowlen and in the South land owned by Dennis Cormier and Thomas Allain.   No deed (or land grant) has been found documenting how Docité originally acquired this land (perhaps through his grandfather or deceased wife).

page 1 Dospage 2 Dos

On 3 Sept 1883, Docité’s parents sold him 25 acres of their land on the South side of the Bouctouche River in Ste Marie for $25. The land is described as: On the South by land occupied by the family of the late Laurent B. Cormier; on the East by a certain road on the South by said owned and occupied by the named Joseph Roy and on the West by said owned and occupied by William Nowlen. In 26 April 1884, he sold this same land to Peter Fabien Arseneau for $75.

record-image_TH-267-12396-45185-61 (1)land sale 2 Dos

On 12 May 1885, Docité married second,  Victorie LeBlanc, at Ste Marie de Mont Carmel, daughter of George LeBlanc and Madeline LeBlanc.

marriage Victoria

1891 Canadian Census

Docité, his wife Victorie (the only family member who is listed as being able to read), now with three children Pius/Paul, (5 years) Marie Albina, (3 years) Mathilde (8 months) continue to reside in Sainte-Marie. His parents and several siblings live nearby.

dosc census 1891

As mentioned in week #2 (Pius’ sketch), known children born to the couple include: (1) Pius/Paul, (2) Marie Albina, (3) Mathilde, (4) Marie Emma, (5) Aurelie, (6 & 7) Dieudonné #1 and Joseph Hector (twins), (8) Edmund and (9) Dieudonné #2

Sadly, four of the children likely died in 1899.  Joseph Hector, 1 Jan 1899 [cause unreadable], age 4 months;  Marie Albina, 13 April 1899, age 10, of consumption [likely influenza]; and a week later, 20 April 1899, Dieudonné (7 months) of la grippe [likely influenza]. No further record of Aurelie has been located, he likely died in the same time frame.

1901 Canadian Census

By 1901, Docité had moved the family from their rural community to the “big city”, Lancaster (today part of Saint John), New Brunswick where he worked as a Millman. He was an employee who had worked for seven months that year and made $200.  He could not read or write, and spoke both French and English (French was his native tongue).

Pius also worked as a Millman (likely with his father) for five months that year and made $50 (he was 14). He was not in school. Interesting articles on employment conditions, child labor and a portrait of a young girl growing up in rural New Brunswick in St John in 1900: 2012-34-Spring-e

A few years earlier, in 1898, Lancaster was known as Fairville, a station on the Canadian Pacific Railway, a lumbering and manufacturing village with 1 post office, 25 stores, 2 hotels, 1 brewery, 1 sawmill, 1 pulp mill, 2 carriage factories, a provincial lunatic asylum, 5 churches and a population of 1,500.

1901 Doss

In 1902, son Edmond’s birth record (registered in 1967) names a birthplace of Randolph (a neighborhood in the West Side of Lancaster which in 1967 became known as St John West) his father was listed as a mill ride.

It seems Docité, Victorie, Mathilde, Emma and Edmund (Pius left for Gardner, Massachusetts, likely for work) returned to Ste Marie, as  Dieudonné #2, was born 17 May 1906 and baptized at Mont Carmel (a community within Ste Marie; in 1904 Mount Carmel was a farming settlement with 1 post office, 4 stores, 2 churches and a population of 250); 3 years later, 2 Sep 1909, he died from measles at St Mary’s.

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

1911 Canadian Census

In 1911, Docite, a Cultivateur, was living in Puellering, Kent, New Brunswick with his wife, sons Edmond and Pius and Pius’s wife Laura Melanson.  His widowed father, Joseph and brother Jude were also part of the household.  Edmond had been in school for 4 months that year and he and Laura were they only family members who could read and write.

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

Daughters Mathilde and Emma had relocated to Massachusetts; both married in Gardner – in 1910 Mathilde married Cyrille Allain son of Mélème Allain and Marie Leblanc; in 1912 Emma married Frederick LeBlanc son of Calixe LeBlanc and Anastasia Tazie Cassie.

1911 census Joseph

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

In about 1918/19, Docite sold land in St Mary’s Parish to Calixte Richard (land deed book I-3 page 166 – image not available online).  He perhaps relocated to Moncton around this time.

1921 Canadian Census

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

At age 63, he was described as 5’7″, 135 pounds and having a fair complexion, gray hair and blue eyes and could not read or write , when he immigrated “permanently” to Gardner, Massachusetts from Moncton in May 1923.  It was Docité’s first visit to the United States. His wife and three of his four living children had previously immigrated to Gardner.

manifest

admittance

The following year, 1924, Docite’s young daughter Emma (wife of Frederick LeBlanc), age 32, died in Gardner, leaving five young children, Joseph, Ernest, Lauretta, Albert and Viola LeBlanc, all of whom were living on Parker Street, Gardner with their widowed father in 1930.

Sadly, six of his children were now dead, leaving just three: Pius/Paul, Mathilde and Edmund.

Docite and Victoire are listed in the 1924 Gardner city directory on Parker Street (the same address as his son Edmond and his first cousin Calixte Roy); his occupation is Clerk. Many other Roy’s are listed nearby, including sons Pius and Edmond. Docite was not found in other online city directories, including the 1926 Gardner directory.

It is unknown why/when he and Victorie returned to New Brunswick, however his death was recorded there on 16 Nov 1932 in St-Antoine, Ste Marie, Kent, New Brunswick.  According to his death certificate, he was buried at St-Antoine.  He died from Lobar Pneumonia, a form of pneumonia that affects a large and continuous area of the lobe of a lung. He was 75. His daughter-in-law, Laura Marie (Melanson) Roy (my g-grandmother) had traveled from Gardner to New Brunswick several days before Docite’s death, and may have been at his bedside. A obituary has not been located.

Kent County probate records do not survive, it is unknown if he had an estate. There are some land index entries for a sale of land in Pellerin by Edmond Roy around this time period which may or may not be the sale of land belonging to Docite (the actual deeds are not online; PANB holds microfilms of Kent County Registry Office Records for the years 1846-1973 which include copies of deeds, leases, mortgages, liens and other land transactions, a number of wills – those which transfer title of land are also found in this series – on my list to track down!)

Dos death

Served in the Merchant Marine – Radio Officer Uncle John “Jack” Galatis [Glatis] Haines, Jr.

Jack jr

My grandmother Edith’s brother, John Galatis [or Glatis] “Jack” Haines Jr., was second of eight, born 11 Sept 1910 to John Galatis “Jack” Haines and Edith Bernice Lansil  in the Allston section of Boston.

Jack jr birth

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By Jack’s second birthday, the family had moved to Melrose, Massachusetts.  As the family grew, the Haines’ moved frequently between Melrose, Malden and for a short time to Saugus.

jack and EdithEde and jack

JACK PIC
Pictured: Edith (E), Jack (J) and Doris (D) Haines

In 1920, the family was living in Malden, Jack was a 9 year old student.

1920 jACK

There were some hard times in Jack’s young life.  The Depression had disrupted the family with a move to a less expensive house in a less expensive town. The children slept using winter coats in place of blankets; blankets being an unaffordable luxury.  One story tells of Jack’s dad, Jack Haines Sr. coming home after a very late trip through the city on Christmas Eve, carrying a floor to ceiling tree which he and my mother decorated while everyone else slept. Foreverafter they told the story of how he scouted the town for a marked-down tree but the only ones he could find had been abandoned hours earlier. As he picked one up and started for home with his cache, a policeman suddenly appeared and asked what he was doing. The truth of six children sleeping at home with nothing to look forward to except Christmas morning, prompted the policeman to turn his back and walk away as he shouted, “I didn’t see a thing! Merry Christmas!”

Although times were tough, through her poetry, Jack’s sister Natalie recalls a house filled with joy:

You’re Only Young Once

… A rhyming version of Depression days

Natalie Thomson

Depression Days were then at hand
(Financial woes throughout the land.)
A seventh child was added to
A family which grew and grew.

Their worries big, their money small,
Their laughter rang from hall to hall.
Each day brought on a new event
From buying shoes to paying rent.

They picked blueberries in the sun
And sang on rides ’til day was done.
The castles were all made of sand;
The water cool, the sunshine grand.

The root beer was, of course, homemade;
Each holiday, a new parade!
The bonfires bright, who can deny,
Were better than the last July.

The icy tunnels dug in snow;
The car would need a push to go.
The swan-boat rides meant trips “in town”.
The clothes were mostly hand-me-down.

The marks in school were of the best…
Such praise for every “A” in tests!
A photograph in groups, you know,
Would find them always in front row.

The house was clean, there was no clutter,
But, oh, “Go easy on the butter!!”
The Market on those weekend nights,
With pushcarts for their city sights.

Their visiting was done in groups,
But picnics called out all the troops!
A wink from Dad, a smile from Mum,
Would mean a happy time to come

With dishes washed and windows closed,
The bathroom busy, off they’d go!

Jack, a good-looking boy, graduated from Melrose High School in 1928 [A copy of the yearbook has not been located, but according to Melrose Library Staff, he is listed as a sophomore in the 1926 yearbook].

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In 1930, 20 year old Jack was living with the family in Melrose working as a bank messenger.

1930 jACK

At age 22 and a resident of Saugus, he became a Mason of the Mount Vernon Lodge, Malden, Massachusetts.

mason card

In 1940, 29-year-old Jack (who spoke directly with the census enumerator) had removed from the family homestead and was boarding at a home in Boston, paying $12/month, working as a bank clerk at First National Bank of Boston, making $1,160 annually, a large salary in comparison to fellow boarders and neighbors. His obituary further tells us he was employed by the Old Colony Bank and Trust, Boston for many years.

1940 jACK

Jack married Allene Day, born 28 June 1909, in Hartford, Michigan, to William and Katie (Rice) Day.  The pair likely met in Boston, where Allene attended Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing and attained a Registered Nursing degree in 1941. Their marriage was registered in Malden in 1942, just months before Jack’s father’s death, 10 days prior to Christmas. Did Jack come to the aid of his widowed mother who had lost everything in the Depression?  We don’t know.  Jack and Arlene soon relocated to Michigan where they likely had two sons born 1943 and 1945 [no births were located in the Massachusetts indices].  For reasons unknown, by 1947, Jack and Allene separated and Jack left Michigan and appears to have had no further contact with his children. Jack and Allene’s divorce was finalized on 3 Dec 1951 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and in 1965, Allene married second Porter Dent of Vicksburg, Michigan.

By 1947, Jack was serving in the Merchant Marine. He was a Radio Officer given the nickname “Sparks” (as were most others in his field).  It is worth noting that one serves in the Merchant Marine (never plural) someone who serves in the Merchant Marine is a sailor or a seaman or their rank (Captain, Mate, etc.) they are never referred to as a Merchant Marine.

It took a special personality to work as a Radio Officer, most were loners (some not by choice as  many got hooked by the “Well paid to see the world” publicity).  Jack was alone in the radio shack most of the time. Others crew members had the chance to interact and speak of projects they were working on.  No one understood the radio operator’s duties.  Few visited “the shack”, the noise of Morse code and static drove most away quickly.

Sparks

The school where Jack received his training in unknown, but we can surmise that all schools in that era had a similar program and philosophy.

The Radio Training Station on Gallups Island in Boston, in 1944, described the requirements for the position:

“As Radio Operators, we will be the voice and hearing of the ship. Upon our ears will fall the first warning signals of danger and upon our shoulders will be placed the responsibility of flashing the first call for help in the event of disaster. In short, the success or failure of a voyage may well depend upon our skill and knowledge.

So important will be our future duties that we are receiving a very practical technical course of training. It includes code, touch typing, operating procedure, radio laws, regulations, international conferences, radio theory, practical laboratory work, operating positions, construction of composite transmitting and receiving equipment, radio-frequency and audio-frequency amplifier systems and related subjects.

Code is, however, one of our more important studies, for once we are assigned to active sea duty we must be able to carryon as efficiently as if we had been constantly engaged in the work for some time and that means taking messages on typewriters as fast as they come over the earphones.

Learning code is a fairly simple task, consuming but a comparatively short time. Building up speed, however, is quite another story, for it takes practice and concentration to acquire the art of copying and sending at rates generally used in commercial work

Before we came here most of us thought of code only in terms of dots and dashes. The letter A, for example, was dot dash, while the letter D was dash dot dot. One of the first things they taught us when we got here, though, was to forget all about dots and dashes and to think of code in terms of dits and dahs.

Now, the letter A is dit-dah, while the letter D is dah-dit-dit. In the beginning code is shot to us at such a low rate of speed, that letters are easily distinguishable. It is more difficult, however, as trans- mission becomes more rapid, to distinguish between letters. Consequently, more than half of our school day is spent in practicing code.

Each man has his own individual equipment which consists of headphones, speed selector panel, a hand sending key and a typewriter. Code is sent by hand and automatically by code sending machines, which can be regulated to any speed by the instructor.

Before graduating we must be able to copy mixed Code Groups at the rate of 18 words per minute. The ability to do this enables most of us to make plain language copy at the rate of 24 or more words per minute. Before we can get to the point of taking messages on the typewriter we must become fairly efficient at typing. We are learning the touch systems in the best “secretarial” manner and before graduation are able to type at the rate of 35 words per minute which is sufficient for practical operating work. 

While code is one of our most important studies here, other subjects of equal or near equal consequence require a great deal of our attention. Take, for instance, radio theory. In order to thoroughly understand how to make necessary repairs we have to know why our equipment functions as it does. Fundamentals of electricity, which many of us studied in high school under the general heading of physics, have to be thoroughly understood. Ohm’s law, and others, have to be more than a series of memorized words.

Today’s radio equipment is much more complicated than it was during the days of the First World War, with the result that a good portion of our time is spent in the service laboratories learning how to repair receivers, transmitters, direction finding apparatus and other paraphernalia that we may be called upon to service in mid-ocean

Most interesting to all of us, perhaps, is the actual watch standing that we do. In this phase of our work, we take live messages from the air and learn through experience the routine of shipboard procedure.

Upon completion of our course here we take the usual Federal Communications Commission examinations which are given at the Custom House in Boston. In the first place, requirements for obtaining the coveted second class license [Jack held a first class license!] are that the applicant must send and receive code at the rate of 16 words per minute mixed code and successfully pass the required elements of the test covering the rules and regulations, basic and advanced radio theory and operating practice.

Strange as it may seem, we complete our work here in somewhat less than half the time required for a like course of study in recognized civilian schools. This is due in great measure to the fact that our curriculum was outlined and prepared by men who are thoroughly familiar with all aspects of radio work. We put in a full six hour day in class, lectures and laboratory work, and facilities are available for an additional three hours at night for those requiring extra study, or wishing to practice.

Then, of course, we have to work hard in order to keep abreast of the schedule that must be maintained. A good deal of outside study is required. Textbooks, especially prepared by members of the faculty, are used in our class work, while standard electrical textbooks and technical magazines are used for reference purposes and may be drawn from the more than 3,000 copies in the school library.

Add to these the fact that all of us who were admitted had to measure up to the educational standards set by the Maritime Service and you begin to see why this intensified course is so successful. Among other things, a high school education that included at least one year of algebra is necessary for admittance to the school. Physics, though not required, is a subject that should have been included in our high school work

At the conclusion of the war we’ll be members of a Merchant Marine that will be the queen of the seas – members who will enjoy the privileges and pay of specialists aboard ship.

pic-07

A rare look into the duties of a Radio Operator [click on any image to see a large version], examples include:

Keep emergency life boat transmitter battery charged.

Have an understanding with Master, Mate and Armed Guard CO as to procedure in time of distress.

Burn and destroy the ashes of any paper on which there is classified information.

Don’t break radio silence.

check-list-01

check-list-02

Online records provide details of at least 26 voyages where Jack was stationed on the vessel Kyska (all-purpose cargo ship with 5 holds, 6,190 gross tons built in Mobile, Alabama).

Kyska

A 38-year-old Jack is first found, after having served one year, departing New York on 7 May 1948 arriving in Yokohama, Japan 18 Jul 1948.  He reports to be 5’10”, 165 pounds and of English descent.

jACk manifest 0

In the years that follow Jack travels to Kobe, Moji and Yokohama, Japan; Davao City, Philippines; Campbell River, British Columbia; New York; California; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon.

By 1953, a 5’11”, 185 pound Jack is reported as a radio officer who had served at sea for six long years. He is one of the few onboard without tattoos or scars.

He lands in Honolulu, Hawaii 10 Dec 1951, them on 24 January 1952 departs New Orleans, Louisiana where he lists his sister [my grandmother] Edith as a contact on a voyage headed to multiple ports.

jACk manifest 5

2 September 1952 he was engaged at San Francisco on a mission to Yokohama, Japan through 17 October 1952 when he landed in Seattle, Washington. Interestingly, he reports his race to be Welsh [he ancestry was approximately 25% Welsh, 68.75% English and 6.25% French].

jACk manifest 2

A day later, 18 October 1952 he again departed to Yokohama, arriving back in Seattle 11 December 1952.

jACk manifest 3

On 1 February 1953 he sailed from Portland to Yokohama, returning to Seattle 30 March 1953.

jACk manifest 4

Jack rarely had time off the ship.  A sampling of voyages in this time period included:

  • departed Los Angeles 6 April 1953 to Yokohama, returning to Seattle 27 May 1953
  • departed San Francisco 2 June 1953 to Yokohama, returning to Seattle 25 Jul 1953
  • departed Seattle 27 July 1953 to Pusan, South Korea via British Columbia, returning to Seattle 21 Sep 1953
  • departed Los Angeles 13 November 1953 to Muroran, Japan, returning to Seattle 2 Jan 1954
  • departed Seattle 24 April 1954 to Yawata, Japan, returning to Seattle 15 Jun 1954
There are a few books available on radio operators that are recommended reading by the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Research Center:
Sparks at sea: the experiences of a ship’s radio offices
by Chandler, R. W.
From the high seas to low comedy : memoirs of radio man Monroe Upton.
by Upton, Monroe.
Wake of the wirelessman /
by Clemons, B. J.

 
In later years, Jack relocated to New York and for about 20 years was employed by RCA Global Communications. He retired a few years before his death and resided in North Tonawanda, New York.

RCAGlobal

Jack was a member of the American Contract Bridge League and won or placed in a number of local tournaments in Tonawanda as early as 1964.

bridge

He also belonged to the International Propeller Club of the United States, a business network dedicated to the promotion of the maritime industry, commerce and global trade.  The Propeller Club aggressively promotes the maritime industry through many of its programs and partnering with other similar organizations. Their goal is to educate legislators and the public as to the importance and necessity of all waterborne commerce.

PC LOGO png

Jack’s youngest sister Natalie, describes this chapter of her eldest brother’s life.  She writes:

“My active involvement in the arrangements and decisions, which, of necessity, I had to make following his unexpected death, caused me in the days and weeks following it to do an enormous amount of reflection and in-depth contemplation about his life — as I knew him, as others knew him, and as he might have known and/or seen himself.  I am far from being the psychologist or the writer who could, at this point in time  accurately tell anyone about Jack.  But to answer the question, “What has he been doing?” over the last 35 years, I’ll address myself to that.

As I know it, he spent many years (I don’t know the exact number) after leaving Michigan, in a Merchant Marine as THE radio operator on ships that touched ports throughout the world, most often in Japan, whose culture he learned, respected and seemed to like very much.  He was extremely proud of holding a master radio operator’s license (no small feat), enjoyed being known by the traditional maritime nickname, “Sparks” while at sea, and felt comfortable with the Petty Officer rank he held aboard ship…a notch above seaman and a notch below officer.  He was capable of easily mingling with both groups.

In later years, when both his energies and the glamorous escape of the sea diminished, he worked on land, still as a communicator, for a company with large shipping interests on the Great Lakes and off the New England Coast [RCA Global Communications, New York].  He retired on Social Security a few years ago.  His pension ended upon his death.

Most of the time, while working in private industry, he lived in upper New York State, alone, as he seemed to prefer. He visited us often here in Malden whenever “the spirit moved him” and one of the ways in which I saw him was a man who wanted to be unencumbered, yet who couldn’t completely relinquish all of his family ties.

He was avidly interested in the keenness of playing bridge and was competitively active in the local club; good enough to often participate in their tournaments. He was equally proud of his membership in the Masons, keeping his dues up to date in the Malden Lodge until the end, although he had not actively participated in it for many years”.

Jack died suddenly 31 May 1979 in North Tonawanda, Niagara, New York and was buried Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose, Massachusetts alongside his parents. 

Jack jr death

Another Excellent Adventure to Probate Court – Essex County, Massachusetts! #52Ancestors week #17

pictureNo Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This week , being in Boston for Easter and the Marathon, I seized the chance to hunt down some Essex County probate records.

The Essex County Probate Office is located at 36 Federal St, Salem, Massachusetts. A 30 minute ride from Boston via commuter rail, then a 2 minute walk.

From Boston, I headed to the North Station commuter rail (inside the TD Garden, home of the Bruins & Celtics) and bought a round trip ticket to Salem on the Newburyport/Rockport line. The tickets are $6.50 each direction at the ticket office, but cost $9.00 each way if you buy them on the train. I arrived about 10 minutes prior to departure, and had plenty of time to purchase tickets and board.  The train schedule can be found here.

On arrival, I crossed the road to the court house.  After security, I headed to the second floor, where a sign read: “Essex Probate and Family Court is moving to its new location at 45 Congress St., Ste. 170, on April 28, 2014″.   It appears that the new location is about 1.3 miles from the train station.

The room was fairly small.  Indexes dated back to the early 1600’s.  The early indexes and probate documents are microfilmed and on file at NEHGS on Newbury Street; but I got better photographs of the “Pinder” entries from these books.  Bound indexes run through 1988.  A file cabinet holds index cards for records 1988 and forward.  I also noticed a series of divorce record indexes (I neglected to record the date range).

The staff was VERY nice.  Unlike past probate experiences in other locations, every person I encountered here went out of their way to help me; all were upbeat and friendly.  I overheard a few “crazy” customers during my visit; there wasn’t an ounce of frustration from the employees.  They happily and patiently dealt with each issue/question.

I located six index entries related to my and my husband’s ancestors and completed one form (located at the front desk) for each docket.  Within minutes the dockets were delivered. I was given permission by the manager to photograph the records with my Iphone!  I have found that probate offices usually don’t allow cameras, typically I spend a small fortune making copies and scanning them into my tree later.

Using Ancestry.com’s Shoebox application, I photographed, tagged and immediately uploaded each image to my Ancestry.com tree.

My search included my husband’s 2nd g-grandmother, Anna/Annie Elizabeth Callahan/Callan of whom I have written previously: here – I had hoped to find a copy of the handwritten will, mentioned in a newspaper article shortly after her death.

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I was not disappointed, it reveals a bit of her personality and perhaps a strained relationship between Annie’s daughter and husband.

Anna/Annie Elizabeth Callahan/Callan was likely born about 1868, near Dublin, Ireland.  She immigrated to Massachusetts and married first, William Brown/Braun, a German immigrant.  They had one known child, Anna Maria “Annie” Brown, born 24 July 1894.  William likely died before 1905.  She married second, a German immigrant, John Carl Blazer, in Portland, Maine,  on 7 December 1905.  He had one known living child, Carl Paul Blazer from his first marriage to Mary Louise Therault.  Mary and their infant son, Phillip, died in 1899.

In 1910, Annie E., John and children Annie M. and Carl, rented a home on 364 Summer Street, Lynn, Massachusetts; shared with two boarders.  In 1920, Annie E. and John were renters at the same residence and living alone.  By 1930, they were listed as owners of 394 Summer Street in what appears to be a co-owned home.  Annie E. and John Carl were enumerated with a boarder.  Daughter Annie M., was enumerated with her husband Herbert White/LeBlanc (also listed as owner at the same address), her daughter Dorothy, her husband David Little and their infant son David (Dorothy was a product of Annie’s first marriage to Samuel Chambers, they divorced, Annie claiming he was abusive).

Dorothy and David Little went on to have six known children – Annie’s g-grandchildren – at least three of whom were born prior to her death.  David R., Dorothy Elizabeth, Herbert John, Anna “Chick”, Donald and Robert.

Home in 2014

house today

On 24 March 1937, Annie died from Grippe-Acute Bronchitis Myocarditis Mitral Regurgitation at the age of 69. She was buried at St Mary’s Cemetery, Lynn.

Her handwritten will reads:

West Lynn, Mass
Sept 14, 1936

My Final Will

I Annie E Blazer of good sound mind and judgement will my half Share of house at 394 Summer St to my daughter Annie M White of 394 Summer St West Lynn Mass I also want My husband John C Blazer to have the use of the same rooms we  both now use and to make his home there as long as he lives or else do just as he wishes about his living.  

I also want Annie M. White to Pay all bills due on house and fence I also want her to be able to take a $2,000 morage [mortgage?] on house and Pay taxes and fix up the way I want it fix for Annie M White knows all my wishes I also leave around $600.00 file Insurrender [?] to my husband John C Blazer to pay all my funeral expences also John and myself have $1,000  in GE Bonds we also have a Joint Bank acount in West Lynn Secicurity [Security?] Trust company of a little over $200.00 all to go to my husband John C Blazer 

Carl P Blazer owes me $50.00 cash. I also wish to call it square his share I want my husband John C Blazer to make over to his son Carl P Blazer all GE Co life insurance also the Weapidy Insurance witch will give Carl P Blazer more than My daughter Annie M. White I also want my grand daughter Dorothy E Little to have all my clothes also my Paino and Diamond Ring and watch. 

I also want my husband John C Blazer to have our dog killed when he wont be able to take care of her himself

I want no fighting when I am gone between Annie John and Carl I ask in the name of God for peace and quietness I would like my husband John C Blazer to cash a few GE Bonds and take a trip to germany this is my Sinciar [sincere] wishes I want Lawyer James Sullivan and Lawyer Walter Pyne of Lynn to take care of everything as I wish it

Respectfully

Annie E Blazer 394 Summer St West Lynn Mass

Grace B Camor 444 Essex St  Lynn witness

Mrs Julia Coates 10 Circuit Ave Lynn

Mrs. Thelma Smith 406 Essex St Lynn 

 pg 1 will

pg 2 will

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Annie E.’s daughter Annie M., died in 1942 and granddaughter Dorothy in 1964.

Annie M.’s husband Herbert White/LeBlanc left nothing to Dorothy’s children (his step-grandchildren). His sister Agnes’s five children are named as heirs to his $19,000 estate (another “find” at the Essex probate office).

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2016 UPDATE on Herbert White/LeBlanc:  https://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/another-oops-in-my-tree-learn-from-my-mistake/

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