Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Here's the second half of my transcription of my 8x great grandfather John Abbott's

Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881.Online database. Case66 Page5

Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881.Online database. Case66 Page6

I give to my well beloved son Stephen Abbott one half of ye land that I purchased
that was Hue Stones and ye other half I give to my well beloved son Ebenezer Abbott
now in the posescion equally to be divided also I give to my son Stephen Abbott
Three acers of land layd out near his house to mee be it more or less and bounded as
on Record. I give also to my son Ebenezer Abbott three acers of land lying on the
west side of the land that I gave him whear he now lives as it is butted and bound
 or be itt more or less; I also give my son Ebenezer Abbott four common wights as my
 Statement was in ye divishon or the same proportion by any other way
 of statement

Item-I give to my well beloved son Ephraim Abbott 40 pounds which he has received
allredy from me also I give him three acers of land layd out to mee near his house be
it more or less-as it is bound  on Record as allso two acers and a half of my common
wright as my statement was in ye first divishion or by same proportion in any way
of statment

Item- I give to my beloved son Joshua abbott  forty-five pounds in mony: which he has
received of mee all but ten pounds -------------------------------------------------------------------

Item-  I give to my well beloved daughter Sarah Chandler : two cowes and Six sheep and
half my moveables as  expresedt on the other side thetTwo cowes and six sheep shee
has received allready att her marage.---------------------------------------------------------------------

Item- I give to my beloved daughter Presilah Abbott two cowes and six sheep and half
my moveables as is on the other side expresed.---------------------------------------------------------

Item-I order my executors to take the whole care to provide for their honored mother
after my decease first she shall have ye liberty of which roome she pleases for to
live in and my executors to provide for her suitable cloathing of all sorts both
for lining and wooling and meat  drink washing  and fire wood and candles the
 wood to be  cut and brought into ye house and phisick and tendance in case of sick nes
 and for what ever she wants for her comfort so long as she remains my widow
if it be to the day of her death and att her death  I order my executors to give ye
honored mother a decent christian buriall if she dyes my widow but if she
shall see reason to marry again then my executors to be freed from what I have
ordered them to do for her.---------------------------------------------------------------------
And I doe hear by utterly disalow revoke and disannull every other will and testament
ratiifing this and no other to be my last will: and testament: and of this I make
my well beloved sons John Abbott and Joseph Abbott my executors they receiving
paying all my lawfull debts and receiving my dues and my loveing brother
George Abbott and Nathanel Abbott to see this my will performed In witness whear
of I have hear unto sett my hand and seal the day and year on the other side
Signed, Sealed published  pronounced  and declared by the said John Abbott
as his last will and testament in the presence of us
the subcribers.
Timothy Abbott                                                                                John Abbott & a seal
George Abbott, Jr.
Henry Abbott                                                                            This therein  appear and make oath
                                                                                                        April 10, 1721

Saturday, October 21, 2017


 There are nearly 1.3 million new records in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:


Thrift Genealogical Abstracts

OVER 150,000 RECORDS  
Explore genealogical abstracts created by renowned Irish genealogist Gertrude Thrift. Search copies of wills, bill books, parish registers, commission books, and freeman lists, as well as detailed family trees and pedigree charts. Records in this collection date as far back as the 16th century and up to the early 20th century.


Crossle Genealogical Abstract
Explore the various notebooks of 19th century genealogists Dr Francis Crossle and Philip Crossle to reveal a wealth of Irish genealogical resources including copies of records destroyed in the fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922.


Betham Genealogical Abstracts

Explore abstracts and genealogical sketches created by herald Sir William Betham, the Ulster King of Arms. The notebooks are an excellent substitute for missing records and include abstracts of wills, reconstructed family trees and detailed pedigrees.


Cork, Pobble O'Keefe Census 1830-1852
Search records from seven censuses - 1830, 1834, 1836, 1849, 1850, 1851, and 1852 - from the townland Pobble O'Keefe in Cork to discover who your ancestor was living with as well as their occupation, birth year and marital status.



Yorkshire Burials

New records: 75,911
Total records: 4,790,021
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881.Online database. Case66 Page 1

I found the probate file for my 8x great grandfather John Abbott over at
As you can see from the image, it's  about a page and a half of small cramped handwriting.
Luckily for me, I also found Charlotte Helen Abbott's four paged typewritten transcription, which was over on the Andover Memorial Hall Library's  website in the Abbott Genealogies collection.
I double-checked  her work and was surprised to see she had changed the spelling on some words and in some cases changed an entire word. Still, it helped me do my own transcription.

I'm posting it here in two parts. Part 1 is from about half of this first page of the will:

Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881.Online database. Case66 Page5

In the name of God Amen. This sixteenth day of May in ye year of our Lord 1716
I John Abbott of Andover in County of Essex in New England being weake
in body but of perfect mind and memory blessed be God for itt therefore calling
to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for me once to dye
doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament (That is to say) principally and
first of all I give and recommend  my soul into ye hands of God yt gave itt hoping through ye
death passion and meritts of my Saviour Jesus Christ to have full and free pardon
and forgiveness of all my sins and to inherit eternal life and my body I committ to ye
earth to be decently buryed att ye discretion  of my executor hereafter named noth-
ing doubting but at ye general resurrection I shall receive ye same againe by ye mighty
power of God and as touching worldly estate whear with it hath pleased  the
 Lord to bless me in this life, I give devise and dispose of the same in ye following man
or  and for me that is to say: First- I will yt all those debts and dues yt I owe in wright
or concciance to any manner of person or persons whasoever shall be well and truly
payed in a convenient time after my decease by my executors  hereafter

I give to my well beloved wife Sarah Abbot ten pounds in money and all my household  move
ables during her naturall life and when  ye Lord shall see good to remove her by death y
then my moveables to be divided between my daughters Sarah Chandler and Priscillah
Abbott   By moveables I mean my bedding linen, woolens, pewter, brass, iron,tin and all
wooden ware excepting baoles but it must be unders tood that what my daughter
Sarah Chandler hath received be accounted for when the divishon is made.

Item  I give to  my beloved son John Abbott one part of my whomestead  bounded  on ye north
by a stake st at ye highway side and so running to ye end of ye orchard to a white oke
tree marked as ye fence now stands then to a white oake tree marked standing near the fence
to south east att the westerly end of my whomestead with all my housing orchard and fences
and all upon it also my loome with all my weaver takoling and half my meadow att
Beaver Dam lying between Billerica and Oborn also a parcell of land laid out to me on the left
hand of the way goe ing  to William Lovejoy Junor containing a bout 4 acres and
a half be it more or less Bouned  as on Record: also I give him six common wrights and a half according to my state ment was in ye first divishon or the  same proportion
by any way of statement for paying what I shall order him to pay.

Item- I give to my beloved son Joseph Abbott the other part of my whomstead bound
att the stake above named then running to a whit oke att the end of the orchard as the
fence now stands then to a whit oke stand ing near the fence souest marked : all
this esterly  end  with  the  barn  orchard  and  fence and all upon itt also a pece of  land on the
west side of the way near his barn as it is now fenced: also a pece of mowing  ground
ly ing upon Roger brook and joyning to good man Ballards land as it is now fenced
and  half  my bevor dam meadow as it is butted and bounded also a pece of land lying
near the parsonage laid  out to mee for three acres be it more or less and bounded as
on record. Also I  give him five acers and a half of my com mon wright: as my
statement was in the first division of the same proportion by any other way of
statement be pay ing what I shall order him to pay

To be continued

Sunday, October 15, 2017


My 8x great grandfather John Abbott was the eldest child of my ancestors George Abbott and Hannah Chandler. I'm also descended from his younger siblings Benjamin and Sarah.The Abbotts were a prominent family in early Andover Massachusetts and John was no exception. Here's what William Richard Cutter has to say about him:

(II) Deacon John, eldest child of George and Hannah (Chandler) Abbot, was born in Andover, Massachusetts, March 2, 1648, and died there March 19, 1721. He lived with his father in the garrison house, and is said to have been a man of judgment and executive ability. He was employed much of the time in business for the town, and served as selectman and representative to the general court. When the church was organized in the south parish of Andover. in 1711, he was chosen deacon, and Mr. Phillips mentions that "he used the office well." Both he and his wife were much respected for uprightness and piety. Deacon Abbot married, November 17, 1673, Sarah, daughter of Richard Barker, one of the first settlers in Andover. She was born in 1647 and died February 10, 1729. They had nine children, all born in Andover: 1. John, November 2, 1674, died January 1, 1754. 2. Joseph, December 29, 1676, died January 9, 1757. 3. Stephen, March 16. 1678, died May 27, 1766. 4. Sarah, December 7, 1680, died March 6, 1754; married, 1707, Zebadiah Chandler. 5. Ephraim, August 16, 1682. 6. Joshua, June 16, 1685, died February 11, 1769. 7. Mary, January 2, 1687, died December 2, 1688. 8. Ebenezer, September 27, 1689, died January 14, 1761. 9. Priscilla, July 7, 1691, died May 24, 1791-p521

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts, Volume 1  Lewis historical Publishing Company, N.Y., N.Y.  1910

I've found his will and a transcription, which I'll discuss in the next post.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Over 2.8 million new British records were added to existing records sets ion this week's Findymypast Friday:

London, Docklands and East End Marriages, 1558-1859

New records: 10,512
Total records: 102,762
Covering: St John Wapping, St Leonard Bromley, St Mary Bow & St Mary Whitechapel
Discover: Marriage date, marriage location, couple’s names, home parish, marital status & groom's occupation

London, Docklands and East End Baptisms

New records: 40,394
Total records: 783,077
Covering: St John Bethnal Green, St John Wapping, St Leonard Bromley, St Luke Limehouse & St Mary Whitechapel
Discover: Birth date, baptism date, address, parents’ names & church address

Greater London Burial Index

New records: 35,438
Total records: 1,670,403
Covering: St James Clerkenwell
Discover: Maiden names, birth year, death year, burial date, occupation, denomination, address, the names of other family members and additional notes

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Baptisms

New records: 13,870
Total records: 937,319
Covering: The parishes of Chilham, Stalisfield & Staple
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Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Banns

New records: 2,416
Total records: 219,155
Covering: The parishes of Chilham, Stalisfield & Staple
Discover: Banns date, location, marriage & the couple’s home parishes

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Marriages

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Total records: 496,386
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Discover: The couple’s birth years, marriage date, marriage location, residence, occupation, fathers’ names and fathers’ occupations

Kent, Canterbury Archdeaconry Burials

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British Newspapers Update

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PERiodical Source Index image Update

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New images: 30,004
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Friday, October 13, 2017


((Oddly enough, both my parents occasionally would quote a line or two from Riley's
two most famous poems. This is the one Dad would quote; I'll post the other later this month
I first posted this on 13Oct 2012)) 

We had the first frost of the fall season last night in parts ofNew England and it put me in mind 
how Dad would  sometimes recite "When the frost is on the pumpkin...". That's the only part of
the poem he'd say. I think he must have had to recite it in school when he was a kid and that's all
he remembered.

Reading it just now I had to grin at the line about the turkey since I've now had experiences with
a loud, "struttin" turkey here in my own backyard!

 "When the Frost is on the Punkin"
                          James Whitcomb Riley

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,   
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,   
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,   
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;   
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,         
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,   
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,   
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.   
They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere   
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—   
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,   
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;   
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze   
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days   
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—   
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.   
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,   
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;   
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still   
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;   
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;   
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—   
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,   
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.   
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps   
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;   
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through   
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...   
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be   
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—   
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—   
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


I'm about to move on to the ancestry of my 5x great grandmother Mehitable (Abbott) Abbott. She and her husband Jonathan Abbott were third cousins as descendants of George Abbott, as well as fourth cousins through ancestor Ralph Farnham Sr.

Here's Mehitable's relationship to George Abbott:

Her ancestors in this line include another Abbott line, along with Stevens, Parkers, and Barkers.

Through her mother Hannah Phelps, there are connections to other prominent early settlers of Andover, Ma: Ingalls, Poor, Dane, and Chandler.

Monday, October 09, 2017


The Findmypast Friday releases for October 6th contain over 600, 000 new records from England and Canada:


Warwickshire Bastardy Indexes 

OVER 5,000 RECORDS  Explore bastardy applications, registers, returns and appeals spanning the years 1844 to 1914. Each record provides the name of the mother, and most records include the name of the putative father. The putative father is the individual who is alleged to be the father of the child. The records do not contain the name of the child.


Berkshire Baptisms Index

New records: 79,693
Total records: 219,541
Covering: 80 Berkshire parishes, 1538 to 1917
Discover: Baptism date, location, parents’ names and additional notes

Berkshire Marriages Index

New records: 67,109
Total records: 315,528
Covering: 156 parishes across the county, 1538 to 1933
Discover: Spouse's name, date, location, residence, occupation, father’s name and occupation

Berkshire Burial Index

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Total records: 830,723
Covering: 190 burial grounds across the county, 1536 to 1966
Discover: Death year, burial date, location, age and additional notes

Ontario Birth Index

New records: 334,374
Total records: 2,076,046
Covering: Civil registration records from 1860 to 1920
Discover: Birth date, registration year, location, parents’ names and images containing additional notes

Thames & Medway Baptisms

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Total records: 357,642
Covering: Thames-side and Medway parishes, 1721 to 1984
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Thames & Medway Marriages

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Total records: 145,656
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Thames & Medway Burials

New records: 8,914
Total records: 195,289
Covering: Thames-side and Medway parishes and prisoners who died on-board the Woolwich prison ships
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Saturday, October 07, 2017


((This was my very first post here back in February, 2007.I'm reposting it toay in honor of her birthday,7Oct 1898)

I’m a child of mixed heritage. On one side I’m
descended from a long line of Yankee settlers.
On the other, I’m descended from Irish Catholic
immigrants who came to Boston in the late
19th century.

Meet my maternal grandmother, Agnes McFarland.
In the family she’s known as Aggie. To us grandchildren
she was "Nanny". I believe the picture is for her Confirmation.

She was born in 1898, eighth child and third daughter
out of the ten children that would survive infancy. She
grew up in a Irish Catholic family, her father a laborer
on the Boston Elevated Railway.

She had rheumatic fever as a child in a time when it
was a deadly disease and although she'd survived it left
Aggie with a weak heart. In 1924 she married Edward F.
White Sr. They had two children before a third died, then
Edward walked out in the middle of the Great Depression
leaving Aggie to raise the children on her own.

Aggie divorced him in 1935.

It was hard for her; in those times the label "divorced"
was somewhat shameful for an Irish Catholic woman.

Work was hard to come by for a woman with children
so she scrimped and saved. Some nights dinner was
bread soaked in milk. My Mom and uncle were sent to
a nearby dental school to have their teeth worked on by
students. When Mom came down with what was known
as St. Vitus’ Dance in those days, Aggie somehow came
up with the money for the doctors and to buy liver to
serve at dinner to get Mom’s iron content up. I suspect
Aggie’s parents must have helped her out here and there
financially. My Mom once claimed that the legendary
Boston Mayor James Michael Curley helped out with
some problem as well.

But Aggie was no cream puff, either. One story my
Mom told was of the time she and Uncle Ed skipped
school to hang out at the cottage out on Houghs’ Neck
with their cousins. The place was owned by Aggie’s
younger sister Peggy and her husband Leo McCue and
was quite a distance away from the Jamaica Plain
neighborhood of Boston Aggie and her children lived

Yet suddenly my grandmother was walking down the
beach towards them. She’d taken the trolley and two
different buses to get there. She stayed long enough
to let Mom and Ed get their things and then took
them home by the same route she’d used to get there.

Somehow she did it. She raised her children to adulthood
even though it meant sometimes ducking her rebellious
son's head in the sink when he used swears or nursing her
daughter through a case of scarlet fever. She survived
watching her son join the Navy at 18 to fight in WW2.
All this while living life as a divorced Catholic woman
whose husband had left her for another woman.

She never remarried.

I knew her as Nanny, my grandmother, and she lived
with us when I was a kid. My Dad and Uncle Ed had
bought a two family home after the war in Malden on
a GI loan and so Aggie saw all five of her grandchildren
everyday. But she spent most of the time with my sister
and I because my parents both worked fulltime.

I have memories of her.

She was a quiet woman, black haired with grey streaks
and usually wore those one piece housedresses. She’d eat
peas by rolling them down the blade of her knife into her
mouth and looking back I think she did it to amuse me
and tease my mom. She never yelled but I remember
her breaking up a knockdown fight between two Italian
ladies who lived in the houses to either side of ours and
doing it with a slightly louder than usual voice and a
disgusted tone at their behavior in front of children.

I remember her being upset when the goldfish got sucked
down the drain of the kitchen sink when she pulled the
sink plug by accident after cleaning the goldfish bowl. And
I recall how she kept me from looking out the window after
a worker fell off the roof when it was being reshingled.
(He survived by the way; he broke his back and narrowly
missed landing atop the picket fence that ran between our
house and our next door neighbor’s.)

As time went by her rheumatic heart got worse and she
needed an oxygen tank in her bedroom for when breathing
was hard.

Aggie died at age 58 on February 12th, 1957.

She lived a tough life but she always carried herself like
a lady.


Sarah (Sterling) Farnham's father, my 9x great grandfather William Sterling is an interesting fellow. He has one of the longest entries of any of my ancestors in any of  William Richard Cutter's genealogy books. He earned a living in several professions, was married four times and had eighteen children with three of his wives. Here's what Cutter had to say about him:

(I) William Sterling, the immigrant ancestor, was born not far from London, England, in 1637, and died in Sterling City, Lyme, Connecticut, January 22, 1719. The first mention of him in New England is found in the Essex records at Salem, Massachusetts, 1660 61, where the names of five of his children are given as born "at Rowley Village at Mirimack." This village is now Bradford, on the opposite side of the Merrimac river from Haverhill, where William Sterling lived for many years. He was taxed in Rowley between 1660 and 1664; in 1662 bought land in Haverhill, and settled on a ridge east of that town on the Merrimac. A ferry across the Merrimac established in 1647, was operated from this land, and is still used, one of the oldest in the country. In the spring of 1669 he sold his Rowley property, with the provision that "the Road to ve Ferry be open for ever." Before 1683 the town conveyed to him a lot of about twelve acres, upon which he built a house, afterwards used for an inn. He is called "mariner" in the early records, and was also a shipbuilder and a miller. In 1684 the town granted him ten acres of land at the Fishing River, that he might set up a corn mill. This was in part payment for William's house and land, which the town had bought for the use of its minister. In 1692 he was elected one of six tythingmen, and reelected in 1694-95-96. He was also constable of Haverhill. Sometime in the autumn of 1697 or the spring of the following year, he removed to Lyme, Connecticut, and first bought land there November 29. 1701. He made other purchases of land at later dates. From early records it appears that he was a shipbuilder in Lyme. He spent the last years of his life at Sterling City, a hamlet within the bounds of Lyme, founded by his son Daniel. August 7, 1718, he deeded to the latter all his property.

He married (first), about 1659, Elizabeth___  , who died in Haverhill, February 6,1675; (second), in Haverhill, December 19, 1676, Mary (Blaisdell) Stowers, born there, March 5, 1641-42, died there May 29, 1681, daughter of Ralph and Elizabeth Blaisdell, and widow of Joseph Stowers. Her father was a tailor of Salisbury, received land there 1640, died before 1650; was in York, Maine, 163740. He married (third), in Haverhill, April 24, 1683, Ann Nichols Neale, widow of John Neale, whom she married in 1672. He married (fourth), in Lyme, Mary Sayer (or Sawyer), daughter of Hugh and Jane (Latham) Hubbard, and widow of Ichabod Sayer, of New London, whom she married in 1697; she was born November 17, 1674, survived her husband, and was living in 1714. Her father, Hugh Hubbard, was said to be from Derbyshire, England, and married in 1673. Children of first wife: William, born about 1660-61; Elizabeth, August 6, 1662; Richard, August 5, 1663; Mary, September 14, 1664: John, May 7, 1666; Hannah, February 14, 1667; Sarah, May 4, 1669; Abigail, May 27, 1670; Nathaniel, June 25, 1671; Daniel, October 2, 1672, died May 27, 1673; Daniel, September 19, 1673; James, February 6, 1675. Children of second wife, born at Haverhill: Jonah or Josiah, October 21, 1677; Jacob, August 29, 1678; Ruth, December 17, 1679; twins, May 21, 1681, died May 29, 1681. Child of third wife, born in Haverhill: Ann, March 14, 1684 -pp533-534.

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 2,    Lewis historical publishing Company,  New York, New York.  1913

There are some who say his first wife was Elizabeth Sawtelle but thst han't been established as certain yet.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Normally I would now be starting to discuss  the ancestry of Mary Farnham/Farnum, wife of William Lovejoy, but I've run into a problem establishing the identity of her father. Some sources say her father was Ralph Farnham Jr,. others that he was Thomas Farnham, a brother of Ralph Jr. So until I can establish who it was I will move down to the next generation to the wife of Henry Lovejoy, who as it happens is another Farnham, Sarah. Her parents were Ralph Farnham III and Sarah Sterling, which means she and Henry were second cousins.

I found a brief biography of Ralph Farnham III in another of William Richard Cutter's books:

III) Ralph (3), son of Ralph (2) Farnham, was born June 1, 1662. He married Sarah Sterling, October 9, 1683. Children: Sarah, born May 5, 1685; Henry, September 15, 1687; Ralph, mentioned below; Daniel, January 21, 1691; Abigail, May 3, 1692; William, August 5, 1693; Nathaniel, July 25, 1695; Barachias, March 16, 1697; Benjamin, March 14, 1699; Joseph or Josiah, February 4, 1701. -p319
New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 1  Lewis Historical Publishing Company,  New York, N.Y. 1913

I haven't found a Probate File or much of anything else  so far for Ralph III.

Sunday, October 01, 2017


((My favorite month for taking pictures. First posted in October 2014))

October 2012
It's October, one of my favorite months of the year. Even here in southeastern
Massachusetts I can enjoy the Fall foliage colors and I frequently take drives
in the afternoon to "leaf peep" and take pictures. But this morning I wondered
if my colonial ancestors were as entranced by the change of colors as we are
today. Back then most of them were farmers, so I suspect they were too busy
getting in whatever was left still in their fields and orchards. They wouldn't
be creating "corn mazes", they were too busy making sure they had enough
food harvested and preserved to help them survive through the Winter.

October 2011
October 2013
Looking for a poem about Autumn here in New England, I found this from
Robert Frost, who lived for many years in New Hampshire.


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

October 2014

Saturday, September 30, 2017


 There are over 3 million new records in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:


Connecticut Baptisms, 1600s-1800s

OVER 41,000 RECORDS  Search baptisms covering the towns of Coventry, East Hampton, Mansfield, New Haven, Norfolk, Norwich, Simsbury, Windsor, and Woodstock. Transcripts will reveal your ancestor’s birth year, baptism place, baptism date and parents’ names.

Connecticut Church Records, 1600s-1800s

OVER 1,000 RECORDS Explore a variety of church records including admissions, communicants, and removals covering congregations in the towns of Coventry, East Hampton, Norfolk, Norwich, Simsbury, and Woodstock.


Connecticut Burials, 1600s-1800s

OVER 17,000 RECORDS  Search transcripts of original burial registers to discover where your ancestors were laid to rest. The records cover the same towns as Connecticut Baptisms and will reveal the year your ancestor was buried and their father’s first name.

Warwickshire Parish Registers Browse

OVER 186,000 RECORDS Browse through the Warwickshire County Record Office’s collection of original parish registers. The collection covers baptisms, banns, marriages and burials and allows you to browse individual volumes in their entirety.


United States Marriages

New records: 95,720
Total records: 190,435,258
Covering: Connecticut
Discover: The couple’s marital statuses, birth years, parents’ names, marriage date and location

Warwickshire Baptisms

New records: 1,117,720
Total records: 1,749,321
Covering: Baptisms performed in Anglican churches across the county
Discover: Birth year, baptism date, baptism place, parents’ names, father’s occupation and residence

Warwickshire Banns

New records: 265,803
Total records: 267,319
Covering: Banns read in Anglican churches across the county
Discover: Age, residence, banns date, marriage year, location, spouse’s name and residence


Warwickshire Marriages

New records: 628,179
Total records: 985,829
Covering: Marriages performed in Anglican churches across the county
Discover: The couple’s birth years, residences and marital status

Warwickshire Burials

New records: 725,558
Total records: 1,855,126
Covering: Burials performed in Anglican churches across the county
Discover: Birth year, death date, burial year and location

Irish Newspapers

New articles: 144,938
New titles: Portadown Times
Covering: Portadown in County Armagh, Northern Ireland
Discover: The realities of life in historic Armagh

Friday, September 29, 2017


There's been a lot of discussion on social media about Ken Burns' PBS documentary on the Vietnam War. I remember that period in our nation's history all to well, so I haven't watched the documentary yet. But it did get me to bring out these from my top dresser drawer.

This is my draft card from when I registered shortly after my 18th birthday in 1966:

I was already a full time student at Bridgewater State college so I received my first student deferment a few months later:

I graduated in 1970 at which time I ws reclassified as 1-A in November. A few weeks later on December 1st the draft lottery was held and when my birthdate was drawn  my number was 344.They never got past 215. I lucked out.

I carried my draft registration and deferrment cards in my wallet for years afterward and when the wallet wore out I transferred them to the new one, and eventuallyto the one after that. But eventually they ended up in the top dresser drawer.

I haven't looked at them often over the years. They are relics from over fifty years ago in my life, a different moment in time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


It's been a few months since I last posted about  my DNA test results. After the exciting start,
things have settled down a bit as I grapple with some slight frustrations and with technical things about DNA that are way above my head. Here's where matters stand right now.

The numbers on my Ancestry DNA test matches:
103 shared ancestor hints, the closest beng 4th cousins.
498 4th cousins or closer. Of these, 4 are 2nd cousins and 11 are 3rd cousins.
Factoring in 5th to 8th cousins I have 22,400 matchs, up from the 19,300 original test results.

I've started keeping a notebook with info on the matches but it's in fits and starts. I still don't get
the centimorgans thing completely, the time I spend going round and round about it is time taken away from researching and writing about my ancestors.

Another frustration are the DNA Circles which go up and down. I've had as high as 15 circles but that dropped down to 12 last week and I don't know why.  The circle for 3x great grandfather Nathaniel Barker is still there but the circls for his father and brother are now gone. 3x ggf Phillip Richardson's circle is gone as well but his wife Esther Laughton's isn't.

I still haven't gotten replies from the emails I sent my 2nd cousins from Mom's White family.

Ancestry sent me an email  last week about a breakthrough and it turned out to be for a cousin who contacted me on our match back in August.

On another front, I uploaded my Ancestry Autosomnal Test result to Gedmatch. I have at least 2000 matches there. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the centimorgan thing there.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Just a friendly reminder that there are still two months  left to send your submissions in for the Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge  The deadline is a week before Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 16th. If you find one long before that deadline you can post it on your blog now, but don't forget to send me the link to it before November 16th!
These are the Challenge rules:

1. Find a poem by a  poet, famous or obscure, about the region
one of your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a
legend, a person, or even about some place (like a river)or a local
animal. It can even be a poem you or one of your ancestors have written.
0r, if you prefer, post the lyrics of a song or a link to a video of someone
performing the song.

2. Post the poem or song to your blog (remembering to cite the source
where you found it.). If you wish to enter an older post, you may as long
as it has not appeared here in an earlier Poetry Challenge.

 3.Tell us how the subject of the poem or song relates to your ancestor's
home or life, or the area of the country where they lived.

4.Submit your post's link here to me by midnight Thursday, November 16th
and I'll publish all links to the entries on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd!

If  you submit a humorous poem or song that will be entered under the
"Willy Puckerbrush" division. Willy was the late geneablogger Terry
Thornton's alias for some humorous posts and comments.

Monday, September 25, 2017


There's over 750 thousand new records from Britain and Ireland in the Findmypast Friday releases for September 22:


Dublin Electoral Rolls

OVER 427,000 RECORDS  Explore transcripts of original electoral registers held by the Dublin City Library & Archives and discover where your Dublin ancestor lived between 1908 and 1915. Electoral rolls comprise the names of those eligible to vote at a given time and place. During this period, voting eligibility for local elections was restricted to men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 who either resided in the city or owned property there.


Sussex Monumental Inscriptions

New records: 1,812
Total records: 23,102
Covering: Chiddingly & East Dean Churchyards
Discover: Birth year, age at death, death year, place, inscription, number in grave & register reference (location)

Gloucestershire, Bristol Baptism Index

New records: 139,843
Total records: 551,100
Covering: Bristol/Gloucestershire parish and non-conformist registers
Discover: Baptism year, baptism place, parents’ names & Bristol Archives reference number

Gloucestershire, Bristol Marriage Index

New records: 80,973
Total records: 354,787
Covering: Bristol/Gloucestershire parish and non-conformist registers
Discover: Marriage year, marriage place, spouse’s name & Bristol Archives reference number

Gloucestershire, Bristol Burial Index

New records: 96,556
Total records: 273,182
Covering: Bristol/Gloucestershire parish and non-conformist registers
Discover: Age at death, birth year, burial year, father’s name, residence & Bristol Archives reference number

Hertfordshire Baptisms

New records: 6,758
Total records: 831,117
Covering: St Mary’s Parish in Cheshunt
Discover: Birth year, baptism date, place, residence, and parents’ names


I found the images of a transcription of Christopher Osgood's will over at It places some conditions on the money he left his daughters as regards to their marriages, And  a week after it was filed his widow Margery petitioned the court to be given a larger part of the estate than Christopher had left her, which lessened the amounts given the daughters.:

Essex County, MA: Early Probate Records, 1635-1681.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.

Essex County, MA: Early Probate Records, 1635-1681.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.

I  Christopher Osgood of Ipswich being weake in body but of perfect understandinge & memory
doe Comitt my soule into the hands of my redeemer, & Concerning that little Estate the Lord
hath lent mee this is my last will & testament, first I give unto my eldest daughter Mary Osgood
to be paid her or her asignes on the day of her marriage, and to my other three Daughters Abigal
Elisabeth & Deborah, five pounds to each of them to be paid to them and every them at or upon
their respective dayes of marriage. And to my Sonne Christopher Osgood I doe give my house and
lands to have & enjoy the same at the age of two & twentie yeares, And my will is that my beloved
wife Margery Osgood shalbe the sole executrix of this my will & to enjoy the pffit & benefitt of my
estate duringe the minority of my Children as abovesaid. And lastlyI doe request & desire Mr
John Norton & my father Phillip fflower to be overseers that this my will be performed according
to the true intent thereof. in witness heereof I have subscribed my hand the nineteenth day of Aprill 1650.

I doe also desire our respected Major to a Joyne with Mr Norton & my ffather.
Christopher Osgood
Witness Nathaneel Mather,  Joseph Rowlandson, Daniell Rolfe.

memorandum which was forgooten m will is that my eldest Daughter marry not without the advice of my wife & the Consent of my overseers,  & that my younger Daughters marry not without the Consent of their mother & the advice of the overseers if it may be had, and that their severall portions be paid unto them when they shall attaine the age of twenty yeares if they be not marryed before that age.
Christopher Osgood
Proved 10:8:1650, by Daniell Rolfe. Copy of will, Ipswich Deeds, vol.1, leaf 76.

Petitition of Margery Osgood, widow, of Ipswich for a greater portion of the estate of her husband,  than by will is given  her. Oct. 16, 1650, ordered that the business concerning the estate be referred to Mr.Samuel Symonds, Maj Denison and Mr. John Norton, and to put an issure there-
unto, keeping as near to the willas may be. Mass. Bay Colony Records, vol 3, page 217.

Samuel Symonds, John Norton, and Daniel Denison having considered the case, make the following alterations in the will: the eldest daughter instead of 10l. mentioned in the will, to have 8li.;the second daughter instead of 5li., to have 4li.; the eldest son to have the house and  land and pay the two younger when they shall be eighteen years, 4li. each. Ipswich Deeds vol.1, leaf 104.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Well, this is embarrassing!

While researching for this blogpost I discovered that my ancestor Mary (Osgood) Lovejoy's mother was not Margery Fowler but Mary Everett. The details are in this short biography for my 10x great grandfather Christopher Osgood by William Richard Cutter:

Christopher Osgood, immigrant ancestor, born in England about 1600, came to America in the ship "Mary and John", sailing March 24 1633-4. He settled at Ipswich, Massachusetts. It is thought that his parents were Christopher and Elizabeth (Brockwell) Osgood, married October 30, 1599, at St. Thomas parish, Wiltshire. The widow Elizabeth died June 18, 1612, and it is likely that Christopher was raised by some relatives. There is probably some relationship between Christopher and the two other Osgood pioneers, John Osgood of Newbury, and William Osgood of Salisbury, Massachusetts. Christopher was a brick maker by trade. He was a proprietor of Ipswich in 1634, and was admitted a freeman May 6, 1635. He died in 1650. His will, dated April 19, 1650, proved October 10, 1650, bequeathed to wife Margery, son Christopher, daughters Mary, Abigail, Elizabeth and Deborah; father-in-law Philip Fowler, an overseer; wife executrix. Christopher 'Osgood married (first) at St. Mary's parish, Marl borough, England, April 21, 1623, Mary Everett, who was buried there April 3, 1633. He married (second) at St. Mary's, July 28, 1633, Margery, daughter of Philip and Mary (Winslow) Fowler. She was baptized May 25, 1615, at Marlborough, Wiltshire, England. She married (second) Thomas Rowell, one of the original proprietors of Salisbury in 1639. She married (third) Thomas Coleman, before 1670; he died at Nantucket, Massachusetts, and she married (fourth) Thomas Osborn, of Nantucket. While residing at Nantucket she deeded May 27, 1673, to her son Thomas Osgood, of Newbury, Massachusetts, the house and land where she dwelt in the time of her former husband, Thomas Rowell, now in possession of Christopher Osgood; he to pay certain sums to her son Jacob Rowell and her daughters, Abigail Wilson and Deborah Ross or Russ. She made anotner deed, tantamount to a will. June 8, 1765. to Thomas Osgood. Margery came over with her parents, Philip and Mary Fowler, in the same ship with her husband. Child of Christopher and Mary Osgood, born in England: i. Mary, born 1633; married, June i, 1651, John Lovejoy. Children of Christopher and Margery: 2. Abigail, born 1636; married April 9, 1657, Sherburne (Shoreborn) Wilson. 3. Elizabeth, born about 1638. 4. Deborah, born about 1640; married, August 28. 1663, John Ross. 5. Christopher, mentioned below. 6. Thomas, born 1651.

Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 4  Lewis historical publishing Company, New York, New York 1908

So I need to correct my database and my family trees. I will leavr my  earlier blogposts on Philip Fowler up in hopes they will help other researchers.

To be continued...

Saturday, September 16, 2017


All 43,689 new records in this week's Findmypast Friday releases are from Herefordshire in

Herefordshire Baptisms

OVER 626,000 RECORDS  discover your family's Herefordshire roots with transcripts of parish baptisms dating as far back as the early 1500s and covering 240 parishes across the county. Records will reveal details of your ancestor's baptism and the names of both their parents.

Herefordshire Marriages

OVER  271,000 RECORDS Uncover the name of your ancestor's spouse and add another branch to your growing family tree with marriage records spanning the years 1538 to 1936. Covering 236 Herefordshire parishes , this collection reveals the couple's names, ages, residence, marriage date, location and fathers’ names.

Herefordshire Burials

OVER 37,000 RECORDS Over 37,000 records – Do you have ancestor’s buried in Herefordshire? Search transcripts of parish burial registers covering 75 parishes. Records will not only reveal details of your ancestor’s death and burial, but also the names of their parents, allowing you add another generation to your family tree.

Herefordshire Wills, 1517-1700

OVER 1,000 RECORDS Over 1,000 records – Explore this handwritten index produced by the British Record Society to uncover details relating to your ancestor’s will. The index is in alphabetical order by surname and can be searched by the first initial of a surname.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


The other document included in Matthew Adams Stickney's book The Fowler Family is this agreement in which my ancestor Philip FowlerSr. makes his grandson Philip Fowler Jr his heir. Philip Jr.'s parents were Joseph Fowler and Martha Kimball(daughter of my 10x great grandfather Richard Kimball: .

In 1668 after having given trades to his children, and living to see them all settled in life, he selected from among his grandchildren to take care of him in his old age, Philip his namesake, as appears by the following deed of gift, the original of which is on file in the Clerk of Courts, Bk. 36: 18.

"This present writing wittnesseth, that I, Philip Ffowler of Ipswich, in the county of Essex, clothworker, for and in considderation of that naturall affection I doe beare unto my Grandchild Phillip ffowler, as also in considderation of his being with me, and doeing my busines for me, as formerly, I doe by these presents freely give and grant, and by these fully confirme, unto him the sayd Phillip, my Grandchild, all that my now dwelling house and lands I stand now possesst off, after my decease (exsepting what by agreement with my wife upon mariage, wch is put in writing and recorded), for him, the sayd Phillip, my Grandchild, Imediatly after my decease. To have Sc to hould, and quietly and peaceably to enioy, unto him & his heires & assignes forever, all that my sayd houses and lands, with all and every, the apptenances & prevaledges, thereunto belonging, exsept as aforesayd, what is granted to my wife, dureing her naturall life, and after her decease, the whole to be and remaine unto him the sayd Phillip, my Grandchild, his heires and assignes, for ever, provided still, that if by the providence of God, I shall be forct for nesasary subsitance to sell any pt. thereof, wch in such case I reserve liberty to doe, provided, if he the sayd Phillip, dye without isue, then to returne unto his Brother Joseph, & if Joseph dye without isue, then to be & remaine his brother John, provided alwayes, that if my Grandchild Phillip, leaves a wife behind him when he dye, then she shall enioy it dureing her naturall life, & then to be & returne, as above exprest. In wittnes whereof, I the sayd Phillip Ffowler, have sett to my hand and seale, dated the 23 of December, Anno Dom. 1668. Signed Sealed & dl in the presence of us,

the marke of
Richard Kimball
John Severance
Robfrt Lord

Philip (his mark) FFowler
(the marks of with a green seal)

Acknowledged before me Apr. 29, 1670. Daniel Denison. Recorded May the 6th, 1670." Essex Deeds, Bk. 3: 152.


The Fowler Family: a Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Philip and Mary Fowler, of Ipswich, Mass: Ten Generations: 1590-1882 Salem Press, Salem, Ma. 1883

I found the inventory of the estateon Googlebooks in The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1675-1681 (Google eBook) VOL III:

 Estate Of Philip Fowler, Sr., Of Ipswich.

Administration upon the estate of Philip Fowler, intestate, was granted Sept. 30, 1679, unto his grandchild, Philip Fowler.

Ipswich Quarterly Court Records, vol. 5, page 347.

Inventory of the estate of Phillip Fowler, Sr., taken July 21, 1679, by Phillip Fowler, Jr., Simon Stace and Nicolas Wallis: 4 ould Cotts & an ould cloke, H1. 15s.; A parsell of ould clothes, Hi.; some ould stockens, 2 Caps, payer of gartars, 5s.; A payer of ould gloves and an ould hate, 2s.; two payer of drawers, two old shirts, 15s.; two caps, two bands & three ould hankercher and also two ould neckclothes, 4s.; total, 31i . Is. Debt due to the estate, 17s. 6d.

Attested in Ipswich court Sept. 30,1679, by Phillip Fowler, administrator of the estate of Phillip Fowler, Sr.


The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1675-1681 (Google eBook) VOL III
Essex Institute Salem, Ma 1920

Monday, September 11, 2017


((The majority of this post was first published on 11Sep 2008. I've
changed the ending to reflect that bin Laden was found.))

Sept 11th 2001
I was on my way to work at the Borders bookstore which opened
at 9:00. As usual I was listening to WBZ AM, the Boston news radio
station, and I was somewhere on Rte 37 in Braintree when the news
bulletin came about the first plane hitting the South Tower of the
World Trade Center in New York. At first I thought it was some
terrible accident as I listened to the report. I remember at one traffic
stop the light turned green and the first car in line didn't move right
away. Nobody honked their horn at the driver. They were all listening
to the news.

I was running a few minutes late already and so I was just pulling into
a parking space when news came at 9:02 of the second crash. Now I
and the rest of America knew the first crash had not been a mistake.
We were under attack. I went into the store and punched in, then
knocked on the Cash Office door. Linda, the office manager
at the time, was listening to the radio. Given that there had been a
previous attack on the Twin Towers by terrorists we realized this must
be another by the same group or another like it. We talked about it for
a few minutes but the store was about to open and I needed to be out
on the sales floor.

It was a surreal day. Linda would relay the news to the staff about the
collapse of the Towers and the other two planes crashing into the
Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. We heard that the planes had
come from our own Logan Airport and had many New Englanders
aboard them, which made it even harder to hear. One of the passengers
lived in my town of Abington. Work went on as it did for so many
other Americans that day even though our minds and hearts weren't
into doing our jobs.

That night when I got home the networks kept showing the same
images over and over of the planes crashing, the Towers falling and
of the people running ahead of the looming cloud. I was angry at
whoever had done this to so many innocent people, and I wanted
them caught and punished for it.

Today, it's a different world. September 11th changed it forever.

We no longer wait now for Osama bin Laden to be caught and punished.
Justice has been done.

But we still mourn, and we will never forget.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


As I said in an earlier post my 11 th great grandfather Phillip Fowler died intestate, but there are several other documents which contain information about his estate.  Matthew Adams Stickney's book The Fowler Family has transcripts of them. The first involves a marriage contract.

When first wife Mary died, he eventually remarried. His  next wife was a widow, Mary Norton. However before  they married a marriage contract was drawn up which laid out what the second Mary Fowler was to inherit in the event of Phillip's death; 

"Know all men by these presents, that I, Phillip Fowler of Ipswich, in the county of Essex, clothworker, for & in consideration of a contract of marriage with Mary Norton, widdow, doe grant unto her as followeth, viz: that if it please the Lord the mariage intended be compleated, and she the sayd Mary my intended wife do survive, I doe covenant & grant unto her, that she shall injoye all my house and lands, with the appurtenances & privilidges thereunto belonging, untill my sonn Phillip (provided I make him my heir), shall come of age, and when he comes of age, I do grant unto her, that she shall possess and enjoy the chamber over the hall, with the table forme & cabbin beds, as alsoe the garretts & halfe the orchyard, and halfe the grasse of the close, & my six acres of land upon the hill, and the inward cellar to her owne proper use & behoofe, and alsoe liberty to make use of the lower roome for her necessary ocasions, with free liberty to make use of the well in the cellar to fetch watter, & all these to enjoye during the tyme of her naturall life, and then to return unto my children, or who of them, I shall dispose them unto, and further doe grant her liberty of barne roome to lay in her corne, and two load of hay, with roome in the cowe house for to sett two cowes, & grasse for to make two loads of hay a yeare, for the tyme of her life, as aforesayd. In wittness whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand & seale, the 27th of February, 1659.
Signed, sealed and delivered, in the presence of us,

William Norton

Daniell Davison (with a marke).
Robert Lord.
Phillip  Fowler(with a marke & seale).

Phillip Fowler acknowledged this wrighting, tobe his act & deed, before me. Daniell Denison. February 27th; 1659.


The Fowler Family: a Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Philip and Mary Fowler, of Ipswich, Mass: Ten Generations: 1590-1882 Salem Press, Salem, Ma. 1883

This is the first marriage contract I've found for any of my ancestors.

To be continued...


Findmypast added over 1.3 million new records from Great Britain in this week's Findmypast 
Friday releases.


Lancashire Wills & Probate 1457-1858

OVER 229,000 RECORDS  Explore this index of more than 229,000 Lancashire wills and probate records to determine whether your ancestor’s probate papers have survived through the centuries. The collection will provide you with details about the type of material available, the probate year, and your ancestor’s occupation and residence.

Scotland Roman Catholic Parish Registers Browse

OVER 49,000 RECORDS Browse through more than 1,000 volumes of sacramental registers of baptisms, marriages and burials spanning the years 1736 to 1942. This extensive collection contains records from all eight Scottish dioceses: Aberdeen, Argyll & The Isles, Dunkeld, Galloway, Glasgow, Motherwell, St Andrews & Edinburgh, and Paisley.


Leicestershire Baptisms

New records: 54,804
Total records: 1,196,243
Covering: Bishops transcripts of parishes throughout Leicestershire & Rutland
Discover: Birth year, baptism date, baptism place, denomination & parents’ names

Leicestershire Marriages

New records: 22,271
Total records: 694,117
Covering: Bishops transcripts of parishes throughout Leicestershire & Rutland
Discover: Couple’s birth years, age, residence, fathers’ names, marriage date & place

Leicestershire Burials

New records: 39,483
Total records: 835,595
Covering: Bishops transcripts of parishes throughout Leicestershire & Rutland
Discover: Age at death, birth year, death year, burial date and parents’ names

Leicestershire Parish Records Browse

New records: 13,090
Total records: 389,967
Covering: Bishops transcripts of parishes throughout Leicestershire & Rutland
Discover: Parish baptisms, banns, marriages and burials

British Newspapers

New articles: 993,513
New titles: 12
Covering: Illustrated War News, London, Scotland and more
Discover: Family notices, articles, obituaries, photographs, advertisements and more