Sunday, September 27, 2015

Donhead St Mary Church and John G. Norris

     In the most recent posting I discussed the marriage record of James Norris and Eleanor Knype.  They were married in Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire, England in 1791.  Based upon baptismal records, they continued to live in Donhead St Mary Parish for about sixteen more years.   By my count Eleanor gave birth to twelve children between 1791 and 1807.  Several died in childhood but there are at least twelve records at Donhead St Mary.  Several more children were born in America.
   Wiltshire County is in the south-west England and Donhead St Mary is in the south-west portion of Wiltshire.   Donhead St Mary is about 30 miles north of Bournemouth and about 50 miles south-east of Bristol.
   Since so many family events occurred in this location, I needed to take a virtual trip.  Google Maps and a few internet searches found some needed information.  The church was started in the twelfth century and is still in use today.
   Another interesting connection is the name of my 3xGreat-Grandfather John Gilbert Norris.  His middle name (or middle initial) does not appear in the index of baptisms but appears on many subsequent documents.  The minister at Donhead St Mary around the time of John G Norris was Rev. Gilbert Jackson3.  John Norris was ordained many years later.
Donhead St Mary Church1  Photo by Simon Burchell

Interior of Donhead St Mary1 Photo by Simon Burchell

1. This file is licensed under Creative Commons  Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Photo by Simon Burchell
2.   Jane Freeman and Janet H Stevenson, 'Parishes: Donhead St Mary,' in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 13, South-West Wiltshire: Chalke and Dunworth Hundreds, ed. D A Crowley (London: Victoria County History, 1987), 138-155, accessed September 15, 2015,
3.  "Assignment by Rev. Gilbert Jackson to Rev. William Lisle ..." 2015. 22 Sep. 2015 <>

Monday, September 21, 2015

Eleanor Knype and James Norris

      James Norris and Eleanor Knype Norris are my 4xGreat-grandparents.  I first came across them when they were mentioned in a Union County History1.  On a trip to Harrison County, Ohio, we visited The Harrison County Genealogical Society, which is located in The Historical Society's building in Cadiz, Ohio.  These societies had rescued a large number of documents from the dump, among which was the 1820 Naturalization Record for James Norris.

The body of that record reads:
        James B. Norris aged fifty years Born in the County of Wilshear [sic] , England & Parish of Dunhead [sic], Removed from that to Novoscota [sic] and from thence to New York, arrived at New York within The United States of America from Novo Scota [sic] on the twentieth day of May in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred & seventeen owing allegience to George the third King of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland and intending to settle in the State of Ohio hereby reports himself for the purpose of being admitted to the rights of Citizenship within the United States, and prays that a record may be made of the same

July Ten 1820   J B Norris

     Last weekend, I was able to track down some new birth and marriage records. (new to me)  I haven't really done much research across the Atlantic, primarily because I was busy filling in the holes in the USA portion my existing family tree. (a British genealogical website) had a free weekend access and so I decided to give it a try.   I didn't find any original records but I found transcriptions of a number of vital records.  Among them was the Marriage License Bond record for James Norris and Eleanor Knype of Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire, England.    It is sort of nice when records match. 


1.  Durant, Pliny A. The History of Union County, Ohio,. Chicago: W.H. Beers, 1883.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Walking in His Footsteps

     Recently Jayme and I spent a little time in Park City, Utah and while there we drove over the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway into Wyoming.  The Scenic Byway ends in Evanston and is about 30 miles from Fort Bridger.  
     Prior to becoming a fort this was the site of Jim Bridger's Trading Post.   Before 1853, the transcontinental trails (including the Oregon and California Trails) passed by this post.  
     In 1849, my father-in-law's great-grandfather, James T. Lorton, traveled from Missouri to California along the California and Lassen Trail.  So most likely he would have passed by and spent time at Jim Bridger's Trading Post.  While at the location of the re-creation of the Trading Post we were able to walk along the path of these trails.   
A re-creation of Jim Bridger's Trading Post
It gave me chills to walk along the California Trail.
This wagon is standing along the original trail in front of the Trading Post.
     It is unfortunate but while traveling to California in 1849, William Lorton and Elizabeth Williams Lorton, James' parents both passed away.  We are not sure of the exact location of their death or burial.  But in 1849, James Lorton arrived in California as a fourteen year-old orphan.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Earthquakes - Part I

     I have spent my entire life in Southern California.  And so I am reasonably accustomed to earthquakes.  Although I must admit that I have never been in a building with significant damage caused by an earthquake. 
    The highest magnitude earthquake that I have felt was the 1952 7.3 Magnitude Tehachapi (Kern County). In Taft, where I lived, the Modified Mercalli Intensity was VII on the intensity scale, although it was much greater in Tehachapi.
Main Street, Tehachapi, after the earthquake of July 21, 1952. The two-story concrete (with wood floors and roof) structure in the background is the Catholic Youth Center. Despite the fact that most of Tehachapi's business section was at least partially destroyed, this building suffered little damage1. (Photo: World Wide Photo)
     One of the largest quakes after Europeans arrived in North America were the 1811-1812 earthquakes in New Madrid, Missouri.  From information on the USGS website2, people as far away as New York and Washington D.C. were awakened by the quake.  The extent of the area that experienced damaging earth motion, which produced Modified Mercalli Intensity greater than or equal to VII, is estimated to be almost 250,000 square miles.  Estimates are that moderate shaking (Intensity V or greater) occurred across one million square miles. Chimneys were toppled and log cabins were thrown down as far distant as Cincinnati and in many places in Kentucky. So it would be safe to assume that my ancestors who lived in Nelson County, Kentucky would have certainly felt the quake and possibly would have seen buildings that suffered damage.  I wonder what they would have thought about the quake.  Was there damage to their property?
My ancestors, who lived in Central Kentucky,
would have experienced an Intensity level of VII during the New Madrid Quake.

At the time of the Tehachapi Quake,
I lived in the region which is labeled with an Intensity VII

1. "Earthquake damage in Tehachapi - California Digital Library." 2008. 15 Aug. 2015 <>
2. "New Madrid Earthquakes 1811-1812 - Earthquake Hazards ..." 2009. 15 Aug. 2015 <>
3.The New Madrid Seismic Zone. 26 Aug 2015
4. California Earthquake Map Collection, 26 Aug 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sheep Brands

     When I think of livestock marking, I usually think of branding cattle in the old west.  I wrote about some family brands in the west a short while ago.  Cattle Brands  But I was quite surprised when I found a much earlier record about branding.
     Although the record that I uncovered was only about three hundred years old, it turns out that branding started much earlier. Almost 5000 years ago in Egypt1.
     Around 1700, as the population of Hampton, New Hampshire increased, the town found it necessary to require registration of ear marks on the residents'  sheep2.
     Richard Sanborne [Sanborn] and James Philbrick who lived in Hampton at this time, are both 7xGreat-Grandfathers of Jayme through Olivia Mead McKie.  I don't know for certain if the Richard Sanborne mentioned in this history is Jayme's Richard but most likely the Philbrick and Sanborne mentioned here are related in some way. 

1.  "Decoding the Range: The Secret Language of Cattle Branding." 2014. 15 Aug. 2015 <>
2. Dow, Joseph, History of the Town of Hampton New Hampshire From Its Settlement in 1638 to the Autumn of 1892, Salem Press Publishing and Printing Co., 1893

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Sisters and the Fruitcakes

     For years a major fundraiser for the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose has been there annual fruitcake sale.   

Sister Theresa Beck
     Back in 1960, Sister Theresa Beck started baking fruitcakes, using her family's secret old world recipe.  Each year the Sisters made 3000 pounds of batter and produced about 1500 fruitcakes. 
     This was about the time that my older sister, Diane, joined the order.  Diane became known as Sister Marie Yvonne*.  Over the years, Sister Marie Yvonne, helped with the production of the fruitcakes.
    Sister Theresa kept that family recipe a secret even though others helped in the production.  Sister Theresa was born in 1904 so as the years wore on, her superiors became concerned that if something happened to her no one would know the recipe.
Sister Marie Yvonne
    Several sisters were recruited to figure out the recipe as the cakes were made.  For each new ingredient, Sister Marie Yvonne would make sure that she  recorded the ingredients and the quantity.  She would check this information on subsequent batches. This took a while and other sisters also helped  determine the recipe.  But eventually the proper ingredients and quantities were determined.    
    Sister Theresa passed away in 1990 but her family recipe is safe with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

Sister Marie Yvonne passed away six years ago this Thursday.  I miss her.

Fruitcake Story

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cattle Brands & Ancestors

     We called him Uncle Charlie.   Charles Dandrea was married to Bernice Kilbourn Cochran. Bernice was the sister to Betty Kilbourn and aunt of my mother-in-law.  Garna, my mother-in-law, lived with Bernice and Charlie for a period of time when she was young.  She said it was one of her favorite time periods in her youth.
Charlie preferred mules over horses.
He would also take one Australian Shepherd over ten men.
    Uncle Charlie was a cattle rancher near Mayer, Arizona. He had been born in Arizona to Italian Immigrants, Louis and Liberata Dandrea. 
   Recently, during an internet search, I found some information about cattle brands in a newspaper. That caused me to search for Charlie's brand.

 L D Bar
     Our family ranching expert is Kathy Torres. Kathy trains horses and her husband, Danny, runs a cattle ranch near San Jose, CA. Kathy says that the first symbol reads L D Bar. The second is an earmark.  It represent a cows ears.  The line shows where you lop it off so in case you can't read the brand from far away, you can see the ear mark. The C stands for cattle and LH gives the location of the brand, left hip.
     It is reasonable to assume that the LD in LD Bar come from either Charlie's father or his mother's brand.

     This brand was from 1916 and belonged to Charlie's mother. This was for a horse and L.T. refers to left thigh. Poland is a ghost town near Mayer.

   B Bar brand of John A. Bell in Kansas. He was Bernice Kilbourne Dandrea's grandfather.

1. Arizona Live Stock Sanitary Board, Brand book of the State of Arizona : brands ordered, compiled, and printed by the Arizona Live Stock Sanitary Board, 1963

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Forty-One Year Old Selfie

   On our third anniversary, back in 1974, we had a little fun with our camera.  Jayme and I took a picture of ourselves.  Yes, we did that back then.  Here is our Selfie.

Anniversary 1974

     A few differences between then and now.  Back then you took a picture and  then waited until you took all the pictures in the roll of film.  That might takes a few months. When you finished the roll of film, you took the roll to the local film developer and about a week or two later you would get to see the results of you photo.  If the original was out of focus or off center then you were just out of luck.  It could be ready for the trash can.  
     In this case you can see the results.  Oh, well.  There is other differences. Less hair and it is grey.  You also had to wait for forty years to put the Selfie up on the Internet.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Separate Bells

    Mildred Jane Hughes Mahaney and John Richard Bell were married in Lake County, Indiana on 5 Apr 18501.  Prior to her marriage to John R. Bell she had married to Edward Mahony in 18442.  
    Both John and Edward owed land in Porter County, near the border with Lake County. 

In 1870 were still living in Indiana (census data).  However, by at least 1873, the Bell family was living in Kansas. (In 1873, John A. Bell wed Amanda Jones.) By 1875 Mildred Bell is living separately from John R. Bell3.

John R. Bell is listed several pages later in there census.

     In the 1880s they both owned land about four miles apart.  

     In the 1885 Kansas Census she states that she is widowed.  Shortly after this they packed up and headed west to Comanche County and then Stevens County.  John R. Bell is buried in Stevens County, Kansas where the gravestone states that he died in 1889.  Mildred Bell remarried and purchased land near her son John A. Bell in Stevens County.  She died in 1898.

1. "Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 July 2015), John R Bell and Mildred Mahany, 05 Apr 1850; citing , Lake, Indiana, county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 2,413,488.
2.  "Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 July 2015), Edward Mahony and Mildred Jane Hughes, 09 Dec 1844; citing , Porter, Indiana, county clerk offices, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1,686,155.
3. Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1875 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: ks1875_10; Line: 55 Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Should it be an "A" or Should it be a "W"?

      John Andrew Bell was the son of John Richard Bell and father of John Fletcher Bell. All three live in Labette County, Kansas in 17751.  

      But wait a minute.  That 1775 Kansas Territorial Census shows the name John W. Bell.  How do I know that this is my John A. Bell?  This John Bell was born in Indiana and lived in Indiana prior to coming to Kansas. That is what I expected.  He was married to Amanda who was born in Kentucky.  He had a son named John Fletcher Bell.  The ages are about what I would expect.  If we examine land records, a John W. Bell owns land adjacent to a Benjamin F. Jones and near John R. Bell and Mildred Bell.  Benjamin Fletcher Jones is the father-in-law of John A. Bell. Mildred Bell was his mother.  I am convinced that this John W. Bell is the same person as my John A. Bell.

     For some reason all records that I have found prior to Labette County refer to a John Bell.  In Labette County the records refer to our John A. Bell several times as James W. Bell and then in 1885 as John H. Bell3.  When the family moved west to Comanche County for a few years, land records referred to him as John W. Bell.  

     After the family arrived in Stevens County, John A. Bell was the name used.  It was used in court records, land records, tombstone, and a published county history.  For now I am leaving the name, John Andrew Bell, in my records, but  . . .
     Why did the name change?  Was it intentional or accidental?  I would love to know the reason.

1. Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1875 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: ks1875_10; Line: 75 Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.
2. "" 14 July 2015 <>
3. Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1885 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: KS1885_69; Line: 1 Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bell Marriage in Jasper County

     John A. Bell and Amanda C. Jones wed on 7 Aug 18731 in Jasper County, Missouri.  In the "History of Stevens County & Its People" several of their children state that this marriage took place in Indiana2.  This may have been the story that John and Amanda told their children but no record has been found to show that they were married there or that Amanda ever lived in Indiana.  At the time of the marriage they were living in Mount Pleasant Township, Labette County, Kansas3,4.  In the years prior, Amanda lived in Kentucky and Missouri. John had arrived from Indiana.  Later they homesteaded land in Labette County, near Mound City, where several of their children were born before moving west to Stevens County, Kansas..  
     At the time of the marriage John Andrew Bell was probably eighteen years old and Amanda was most likely sixteen years old.  Was it legal for them to get married at that age?  Did their parents approve? In any case, John and Amanda chose to travel from Labette County, through Cherokee County, crossing the Kansas-Missouri border, and to Jasper County, Missouri.  At that time it appears that Jasper County may have served as the area's 'Gretna Green'.  (Gretna Green is a border town in Scotland, which is famous for weddings of couples who elope.)  Twin Groves is one of the townships in Jasper County that borders Kansas.  There is a William Bishop in that township in 1880 Census.
     So, considering John's and Amanda's ages and location of wedding, is it possible that they eloped?  

1. "Missouri, County Marriage Records, 1819-1969." Marriage of John Bell and Amanda Jones. Jasper County, Missouri FamilySearch. : accessed 7 Apr 2013.
2. The History of Stevens County & Its People. pages 367-373, Hugoton, Kansas: Stevens County History Association, 1979.
3. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch
4. Year: 1870; Census Place: Mount Pleasant, Labette, Kansas; Roll: M593_436; Page: 48B; Image: 100; Family History Library Film: 545935

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Proctor Perley Sargent

     While attempting to determine how and why one of Jayme's ancestors went from New Hampshire to Louisiana around the time of the Civil War, I needed to trace her first husband.  
     Olivia Mead married P. P. (Proctor Perley) Sargent in New Hampshire in 1858; followed him to Louisiana where he died in 1865; married husband number two in Louisiana in 1868; and moved to Hunt County, Texas  by 1870 with her second husband.
     Proctor Perley Sargent was born on 7 Oct 1830 to Marcus Sargent and Ann Severns in New London, New Hampshire1.
     On 11 Nov 1858, P. P. Sargent of Texas and Olivia A. Mead of New London, New Hampshire were married in Bradford, New Hampshire2.
     In the 1850 Census, Proctor P. Sargent is working as a shoemaker and living with his parents in New London3. He is also listed as a shoemaker in the 1850 Concord, New Hampshire City Directory4.  His wife is living in New London with their child and his parents at the time of the 1860 Census. The whereabouts of Proctor P. Sargent in the 1860 Census is unknown at this time.  
     P. P Sargent died in New Orleans on 28 Feb 1865, shortly before the end of the Civil War5.
     Two separate family genealogies published in 1882 and 1906 mention that Proctor moved around.  The Perley family (Proctor's ancestry) genealogy states that he traveled to California and other states and died in New Orleans6.  The Folsom family genealogy (Olivia's ancestry) doesn't mention California but states similar information7. Both mention that their child died around 1860.  Both mention her marriage to Wilson H. McKie on 5 Aug 1867.
    An additional record exists of a muster call of a man named P. P. Sargent with the Confederate Guards Regiment, Louisiana Militia8.  
    Could the man in the militia be Proctor Perley Sargent?  
    What was the cause of Proctor's death?  Was it war related?   
    When did Olivia follow her husband south?  Before the war?
    Where did their daughter die?

1. "New Hampshire, Birth Records, Early to 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 April 2015), Proctor Perley Sargent, 07 Oct 1830; citing New London, Merrimack, New Hampshire, United States, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord; FHL microfilm 1,001,044.2. "New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637-1947." Index and images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord.
3. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1850; Census Place: New London, Merrimack, New Hampshire; Roll: M432_436; Page: 110A; Image: 228
4. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011  Concord, New Hampshire, City Directory, 1850
5. "Louisiana, Orleans Parish Vital Records, 1910, 1960." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. State Archives, Baton Rouge
6. Perley, M. V. B. History and Genealogy of the Perley Family. Salem, Massachusetts, 1906, M. V. B. Perley Publisher
7. Chapman, Jacob. A Genealogy of the Folsom Family: John Folsom and His Descendants, 1615-1882. Concord, N.H.: Printed by the Republican Press Association, 1882. (Google E-Books)
8. "Louisiana, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 April 2015), P P Sargent, 1862; from "Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Louisiana," database, ( : n.d.); citing military unit Confederate Guards Regiment, Militia, H- S, NARA microfilm publication M320 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1961), roll 375.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


    While examining the 1850 Census Record for Wilson MacKie (McKie) of East Feliciano Parish, Louisiana1, I noticed his listed occupation.

     It wasn't a word I recognized and I tried searching on Google for old occupations but the websites I happened to check didn't have any occupation that was even close.  
     The first letter was definitely a 'G' based on Georgiana and Georgia which appeared earlier on the same page.
     After sleeping on it I read the pages of the census before and after this page and there I found an occupation listed which I recognized.

     Wheelwright was probably written by a different person based upon the 'ght' but wheelwright brought me to Ginwright. It turns out that a ginwright (gin wright) is someone who builds cotton gins or maintains and repairs existing cotton gins.   
       By the middle of the nineteenth century, cotton gins were large machines which were housed in large industrial-sized buildings.  Cotton was big business and it is easy to see that it could be costly if the cotton gin didn't operate. 
    So the 1850 Census shows Wilson H MacKie (McKie) as a Ginwright.  He is living, along with his first wife, Elizabeth, and child, James. They are living with Elizabeth's parents, Sothy and Nancy Hays.

1. Year: 1850; Census Place: East Feliciana, Louisiana; Roll: M432_231; Page: 248B; Image: 177
Old Hill Burying Ground, 1850 United States Federal Census

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ancestors Traveling Around Cape Horn

     For the last few weeks I have been following six sailboats as they make their way around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race. There were seven boats but one ended up on a reef in the Indian Ocean.   Recently they have been making their way across the Southern Ocean from New Zealand to Cape Horn.  The Southern Ocean is considered the toughest stretch of ocean to cross.  Cape Horn is considered the Mount Everest of ocean sailing.  The Internet carried live coverage of four of the boats as they made their way around the Horn on a 'good' weather day.  (The two other boats include one which lost a sail and is limping along several days behind and another boat which lost their mast and had to withdraw from the race.)
     These modern racing yachts are among the best boats made.  Equipment is top notch. Their positions are sent to race headquarters every fifteen seconds.  Satellites give them weather information and the positions of icebergs.  The crews are the most experienced sailors in the world.  And yet three of the seven have been or are in serious trouble.

     Shortly after I watched the four boats pass Cape Horn, I was reading a digital book about the genealogy of one branch of Jayme's family1.  Joseph Libbey Folsom (the founder of Folsom, CA) was the half-brother of Jayme's great-great-grandmother, Olivia Ann Mead Sargent McKie.  Captain Joseph Libbey Folsom was sent by the army from the east coast of the United States around  Cape Horn to California in 1846.  The trip took six months. WOW. I admire the inner strength of these people to undertake such a journey.  Thousands died attempting to travel to California by traveling around South America.  (In the nineteenth century alone over fifty boats were documented to have sunk while rounding the Horn.  Countless others were lost at other points in the passage from east to west.)

1. Chapman, Jacob. A Genealogy of the Folsom Family: John Folsom and His Descendants, 1615-1882. Concord, N.H.: Printed by the Republican Press Association, 1882. (Google E-Books)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Massacre at Hurtleberry Hill

     Current town boundaries in Middlesex County, Massachusetts are considerably smaller than they were in the the seventeenth century.  Concord boundaries extended farther south.  Mt. Misery and part of the town of Lincoln were originally part of Concord. 
     The Goble family moved from Charlestown to Concord sometime around the middle of the between 1652 (records showing Thomas Goble in Charlestown) and 1657 (Thomas Goble's will).  The Goble house, still standing in 1904, was described as being on the edge of Walden Woods on the road leading west from the Village of Lincoln.  This description would put the Goble farm about a half-mile from Mt. Misery and Walden Pond(see map below1).
     Current day researchers believe that Mt. Misery was called Hurtlebery Hill during the seventeenth century.
     Metacom, a Native American leader, known to the colonists as King Phillip had come to the conclusion that the settlers were dishonest and the only solution was to drive them from his land.  The war lasted only about two years (1675-1676) but was particularly bloody.  Ten percent of the adult male colonists were killed along with many women and children.  Two-thirds of the English towns in Massachusetts were attacked.  The Native American population fared even worse.  Those who were not among the thousands who were killed, were captured and shipped off as slaves to the sugar plantations in the Caribbean.
      Life was just a precarious for those Indians who fought as allies of the English. Since some Indians had at times switched sides, the settlers decided that Native Americans couldn't be trusted.  Laws were passed which allowed the English to kill Indians who were not in their designated area.  
      A short time before the end of the war, three Indian women and three children were given permission to leave their assigned location to gather berries near Hurtleberry Hill. It seems that hurtleberry can be used interchangeably with whortleberry, huckleberry and even blueberry.  A local militia unit came upon the six indians.  A short while later four of the soldiers returned.  Daniel Hoar, Daniel Goble, Stephen Goble, and Nathaniel Wilder shot and hacked to death all six Indians2. Numerous similar incidents were known to have occurred but this was the only incident where the men were convicted.  They were all sentenced to death. Stephen Goble was hung first.  A week later Daniel Goble was hung.  The other two men appealed their conviction on the basis that they were young and didn't participate.  They were released after paying a fine.  It probably didn't hurt that their fathers were upstanding members of the community. 
     Daniel Goble was married and left a wife and four children.  His wife remarried and ironically years later she and her second husband and their child were killed in an Indian attack.  
     Stephen Goble was unmarried.

 Note: Daniel Goble was the brother of my 8great-grandfather, Thomas Goble Jr.  Stephen Goble was a son of Thomas Goble.  Ruth Goble, a daughter of Thomas and brother of Stephen, was my 7great-grandmother.  Ruth Goble married Samuel Stratton.   

1.   Google Maps Engine, Google Imagery 2013 Digital Globe, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency.
2. Pulsipher, Jenny Hale. "Massacre at Hurtleberry Hill: Christian Indians and English Authority in Metacom's War." The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, July 1, 1996, 459-86.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lying Rascal

     Do you have a troublesome neighbor?  I suspect that throughout history there have been neighbors who haven't seen eye to eye. But have you ever called you neighbor a 'lying rascal' and then been sued.

     On 25 March 1650, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, John Goble was served with a summons1.  Richard Temple had filed a complaint that John had called Richard a 'lying rascal'.  This was just one of a series of differences between the Goble family and Richard Temple. 
     There was an incident with a loose goose.  Evidently, Goble's goose had wandered onto Temple's land and Temple warned Goble not to trespass.  It seems that there was a scuffle with John's father, Thomas Goble, involved. John's mother, Alice grabbed her son's goose. There must have been some bad blood between the neighbors prior to this.  As Roger Thompson suggests in From Deference to Defiance, Charlestown 1629-1692, Richard Temple was probably scared for his physical well-being.  At the same time Thomas Goble may have suspected Richard Temple of supernatural recriminations.
     The situation had been serious enough that both parties had been summoned to Rev. Zechariah Symmes's house along with several leaders of the community.  The failure of this mediation led to the summons. The first court appearance was a short-lived victory for Goble (possibly as a result of the fact that Goble was a freeman and church member in Charleston whereas Temple was not). Later a jury found that Goble had indeed libeled Temple and Thomas Goble was fined 20 shillings and John Goble was fined 40 shillings. The Goble family was forced to put up a bond of £20 to keep the peace.  
     Problems continued for a few more years but eventually things quieted down and problems ended in Charlestown between the Gobles and Temples. Things could have quieted down because Richard moved to Concord.  
     Both Richard Temple and Thomas Goble died in 1657, and at that time they both lived in Concord.

1.  Thompson, Roger,  From Deference to Defiance, Charlestown, 1629-1692, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston 2012

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Annotated Picture

     As Jayme and I were departing from Boston Logan Airport last November, we snapped a picture out of the window of the plane.  Some time after returning, when I got around to examining our photographs, I realized that this picture showed many of the places that were important to our trip and also my family research.
     We had spent a week at the Marriott Custom House, and from there we had visited many of Boston's points of interest. It was a short walk to the North End, Faneuil Hall, and the Boston Freedom Trail. We had visited "Old Ironsides" in Charlestown.  
     We had also visited Watertown, where Samuel Stratton had lived. It is likely that Samuel and his son, Richard, are buried in the cemetery that was active at that time. Samuel had owned several lots in Watertown.  
     Another ancestor, Thomas Goble, had settled in Charlestown. In the early days of colonization, Charlestown was much larger than today. I know that Thomas Goble worked the "Line Field" in 1649.  He owned several lots in Charlestown.

On the map shown below1, the blue line represents the approximate boundary of seventeenth century Charlestown.  The red pin shows the area of the "Line Field". The other pins show the location of Fresh Pond and the Old Burying Place.

1.  Google Maps Engine, Google Imagery 2013 Digital Globe, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Thomas was a Hog Reeve

    While preparing for our trip to New England last November, I decided to look into info on the Goble family. I knew that Samuel Stratton, son of Richard Stratton and grandson of the Samuel Stratton who settled in Watertown had married Ruth Goble in Concord, Massachusetts. But I hadn't spent any time researching the Goble family.  I had just kept putting off that part of my research.
    It turns out that several books have been written on the Goble family and Thomas Goble and his sons are mentioned in several additional books including the Great Migration series1. The information appears to be solid but I will eventually verify the sources.  In the meantime several facts about the Goble family stand out.
    Thomas Goble was baptised in 1591 in 
Aldingbourne, West Sussex, England   He was a elected a freeman in Charlestown on  September 3, 1634.
    Roger Thompson is emeritus professor of American Colonial History at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. I possess two of his books. I have used his book on Watertown as a reference for my research into my Stratton ancestors. Another book, From Deference to Defiance, Charlestown, 1629-1692 mentions Thomas Goble2 several times.  In this book Professor Thompson includes lists of office holders of Charlestown which had not been previously published.
    In 1649, Thomas Goble serves the townspeople as a Hog Reeve2.  I didn't know the definition of a hog reeve so a search was necessary. A hog reeve3 is one who rounded up stray hogs and assessed the damage caused by the hog.  The owner of the hog was then required to pay a fine when he retrieved the hog.
     Also in 1649, Thomas served the town in two other positions. He was a Fence Viewer and a Field Driver. A fence viewer made sure that settlers followed the rules about fencing in animals and certain crops.  The fence viewer also attempted to settle disputes arising between adjacent landowners. A field driver took stray animal to the pound to prevent damage to crops. Both Fence Viewer and Field Driver are positions still included in Massachusetts law4.
     In the early days Charlestown included much of the land that is today Somersville and Arlington. Thomas was a field driver in the 'Line Field'. The line field was near Mystic Ponds (Lakes) about where Highway 60 intersects Broadway in Arlington. At that time the boundaries of Watertown Cambridge and Charlestown were much different than today.  Thomas Goble probably lived fairly close to the line Field.  This happens to be close to where the Strattons lived in Watertown.
     Ruth Goble and Samuel Stratton are my seventh-great grandparents.

The map5 below shows the approximate location of the Line Field (red), area where the Strattons owned land (orange), and Charlestown Today (pink).

1. Anderson, Robert Charles 
Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume III, G-H New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston 2003

2. Thompson, Roger Deference to Defiance, Charlestown, 1629-1692, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston 2012
3. Janice Brown, “New Hampshire Glossary: Hog Reeve,” Cow Hampshire, 8 April 2006 <>.

4.  "General Laws: CHAPTER 49 -" 2013. 4 Mar. 2015 <>
5. Google Maps Engine, Google Imagery 2013 Digital Globe, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Richard Stratton - Two Years in Watertown

     Richard Stratton, my 8th great-grandfather lived in the Massachusetts Colony for about 26 months.  In that time a few records about him have survived.   
     Richard Stratton was a son of Samuel Stratton.  Samuel had arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts sometime before 1647.  Samuel had settled in Watertown with his wife, Alice and two of his sons, Samuel and John.  Richard Stratton arrived in Massachusetts in late spring or early summer of 1656, aboard the Speedwell.   

1656 A lyst of the passengers aboard the Speedwell of London
Robert Lock Master bound for New England1

     The next two documents pertaining to Richard appear in the records of Watertown, Massachusetts2.  On April 8, 1658, a son named, Samuel, is born to Richard and Susannah Stratton in Watertown.  A little less than four months later, Richard Stratton died.   

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850
     Richard's death gives rise to the last record, a Probate record, regarding Richard.  According to A Book of Strattons3, Richard's estate left no land to his wife or son.  
     Richard's wife remarried a few years later and lived in Concord, Massachusetts.  Richard's son, Samuel, was mentioned in his grandfather, Samuel's will and Samuel received land when he became of age. 
     Richard is most likely buried in the Old Burying Place in Watertown since it was the active cemetery at that time.  The land that Samuel Stratton owned was in close proximity.
Standing near some Stratton graves at the Old Burying Place in Watertown

1. "The passenger list of the "Speedwell," 1656 - Beinecke Rare ..." 2013. 3 Aug. 2014 <>
2. Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 (Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2010).
3.  Stratton, Harriet Russell, A Book of Strattons; being a collection of Stratton records from England and Scotland, and a genealogical history of the early colonial Strattons in America, with five generations of their descendants Volume 1, The Grafton Press, New York, 1908