Monday, August 14, 2017


Yesterday I received an email  from Daniel Horowitz  of MyHeritage with some great news:

In celebration of our recent milestone — surpassing 8 billion historical records on SuperSearch — we’re happy to announce that we’re making all of our major census collections from the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Canada, and Nordic countries free for everybody, for one week! 

Starting on Monday, August 14, until August 20, no Data subscription will be required to access these documents, and you can search through this treasure trove of census records for free. That’s 94 collections, containing over 1 billion census records! Some of the census records are found exclusively on MyHeritage. This is available to users of MyHeritage as well as people who have never used MyHeritage before.

With our earliest census records dating as far back as 1657, and the latest ones extending until 1940, these records are an excellent way to learn more about the lives of your ancestors and to add details to your family tree

I expect many genealogists will be taking advantage of the free access  to the census collections over the next week!

Friday, August 11, 2017


Nearly 3 million new records in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:

United States Billion Graves Update

OVER 2.2 MILLION RECORDS  have been added to the United States Billion Graves Index. Search this extensive record set to find the exact, GPS-tagged location of your ancestor’s burial as well as their birth and death dates


England Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 76,151
Total records: 580,290
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
Discover: Name, birth date, death date, cemetery, city, county, image link

Scotland Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 114,974
Total records: 197,832
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Ireland Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 16,038
Total records: 25,357
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Wales Graves Billion Graves Cemetery Index

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Total records: 58,135
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Canada Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 87,830
Total records: 946,158
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Australia Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 377,389
Total records: 1,608,001
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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New Zealand Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 48,831
Total records: 178,863
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 1485-2014

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North West Kent Burials

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New York Researcher

Number of images added: 96
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Covering: The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s (NYG&B) quarterly review
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New York Genealogical & Biographical Record

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017


I haven't found very much about 8x great grandfather Henry Holt as of yet. Here's what the 19th century genealogist Ellery Bicknell Crane has to say about him:

Henry Holt, fifth child of Nicholas Holt(1) , was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, 1644. He married, February 24, 1669, Sarah Ballard, daughter of William Ballard. She died at Andover, November 25, 1733. He died January 17, 1719, aged seventy-five years. They joined the church June 3, 1716. He was prominent in town affairs. In 1686 he owned a mill on Ladle brook. Children were: Elizabeth, born in Andover, Massachusetts, December 29, 1670; Oliver, January 14, 1671; Henry, January 24, 1673; James, see forward; George, March 17, 1677; Sarah, August 17, 1678; Josiah, December 13, 1679; Dinah, May 23, 1681; Paul, February 7, 1684; William, February '3, 1687; Zerviah, March 24, 1689; Keturah, December 15, 1690; Humphrey, September 22, 1693; Benjamin, July 8, 1696.
Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 1 The Lewis Publishing CO  New York, N.Y.  1907

Henry died without a will  but had distributed shares of his estate to his sons by land deeds before his death. His youngest son William Holt received his inheritance in a deed with the provision that hecare for his parents until they died, I'll have to look for those land records!

Monday, August 07, 2017


I'm a big believer in genealogy blogging as a way to share information about my ancestors online.
I know there are those who prefer to keep their research private but by doing so I feel they miss out on being contacted by distant relatives through a Google search. I've had many such contacts since I started this blog, sometimes through something I posted years ago.

The latest example of this occurred last week when my new found cousin H.F. contacted me because of my posts about our shared ancestor Moses Coburn. We exchanged information in emails, and in of them H.F. mentioned he had a portrait of Moses. Would I like a photo?

Would I? Wow, I sure did!

Shortly after it arrived via email. I asked H.F. for permission to share the photo, which he gave. And here it is:

4xggf Moses Coburn (1765-1848) courtesy of H.F.

Moses Coburn is an Interesting fellow, a member of a prominent family in Dracut and Tyngsborough, Ma. He was paid to enlist by some  citizens of Dunstable Ma in 1781 when he was 16 years old,
and  served over two years. He married Esther Spaulding in 1794 and applied for his pension in 1818 while living in Tyngsborough, Ma. He moved to  Newry, Maine sometime after that where he died in 1848.

And now I have a face to put with his story.

I've shared the probate files for Moses and his grandfather (another Moses Coburn) with H.F.and together the two of us are trying to solve the mystery of the identity of his mother who ws married to Caleb Coburn.

Thanks, H.F., for sharing that portrait with me!

Friday, August 04, 2017


Over 4 million new records from the U.S. and  the U.K. are in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:


United States Marriages

OVER 4.3 MILLION RECORDS  These new and exclusive additions to our collection of US marriages cover Nevada and California. Use them to discover when, where and to whom your ancestor was married. This is the first time these records have been published online.

Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Poorhouse Records 1859-1912

OVER 15,000 RECORDS Did your Scottish ancestor spend time in the poorhouse? Explore admissions, deaths, discharges and sick rolls to discover your ancestor’s admission date, behaviour during their stay, previous residence, and more.

Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Burials 1860-1975

OVER 87,000 RECORDS Discover where your West Lothian ancestors were laid to rest with 115 years of transcripts that will reveal the date of their burial, the location of their grave, their occupation, residence, death date and the names of additional family members.

New Jersey Baptisms 1746-1795

OVER 600 RECORDS  Find out if your ancestor was baptised in the Township of Hannover, discover when the ceremony took place and uncover the names of both their parents.

New Jersey Church Records 1747-1794 

OVER 200 RECORDS Explore records covering the Township of Hannover in Morris County to discover when and where your ancestors received Holy Communion.


Britain, Knights of the Realm & Commonwealth Index

New records: 410
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Discover: Birth year, death year, type of award, date of award, your ancestor’s biography and any additional remarks

PERSI Quarterly Index Update

New articles: 14,865
New titles: 7
Covering: California, Maine, North Carolina and Ireland
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Nicholas Holt was one of the first new ancestors I added to my tree back when I began tracing my family's history. I hadn't really returned to that research in several years and now I've found a few  discrepancies with what I had found back then.

They concern Nicholas' wives. I had two marriages in my database for him, and now I've found three, and there is a different names for his second wife.

I had her listed as Mary Manning,  

Daniel Steele Durrie and Charlotte Helen Abbott both say the second wife was  Hannah (Bradstreet) Rolfe who Nicholas married in Andover on 10Jun 1658 and they had two children. Hannah died in 1665.

The third wife (that I had not know about) was a widow,  Martha Preston, who Nicholas married on 21Ma 1666.

I've now found the records of both marriages and changed my database.

While Nicholas didn't leave a will Daniel Steele Durrie's entry on Nicholas has pointed me towards land deed made to the children which I'm going to search for on FamilySearch. 


Big news in the genealogy world! I received the following press release yesterday from Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage:

MyHeritage Acquires the Legacy Family Tree Software and Webinar Platform

TEL AVIV, Israel & SURPRISE, Arizona, August 3, 2017 — MyHeritage, the leading global destination for family history and DNA testing, announced today its acquisition of Millennia Corporation, makers of the popular genealogy desktop software Legacy Family Tree and genealogy webinar platform, Legacy Family Tree Webinars. This is MyHeritage's ninth acquisition to date.

With hundreds of thousands of devoted users since 1997, Legacy Family Tree consistently ranks among the top three most popular and highly rated genealogy software products in the industry. The Legacy Family Tree Webinar platform — which has amassed a large and dedicated fan base since 2010 — draws speakers who are leaders in their field and covers a wide variety of topics, including genealogical research methodology, DNA, and historical records, representing a full array of educational genealogy content.

MyHeritage, which has developed a world-class, global mobile and Web platform for family trees, historical records and DNA testing, used by more than 90 million users worldwide, will now offer its services to Legacy's users.

Legacy Family Tree will retain its full staff and continue developing its software and webinar platform, backed by MyHeritage's resources. Millennia Corporation and MyHeritage have started joint work on a new version of the Legacy Family Tree software — version 10 — which will include the optional capability to sync family trees to MyHeritage’s website and use the free MyHeritage mobile app to make remote updates to their family trees on the Legacy software. Legacy Family Tree version 9 has already integrated matching to MyHeritage's 40 million family trees and to its historical records collection — which surpassed 8 billion records this week.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will continue to feature diverse and informative content, and will be promoted to the millions of MyHeritage users, to increase the webinars' audience. The webinar platform will also enjoy infrastructure upgrades to support increased concurrent viewership.

“We are very happy with the Legacy Family Tree acquisition as it gives us valuable assets that are highly complementary to our own, and a solid team.” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We look forward to providing Legacy's software and webinar platform with useful upgrades, and to welcoming Legacy’s huge user base of experienced genealogists to enhance their genealogical explorations through MyHeritage's services.”

“The more I’ve learned about and experimented with MyHeritage, the more I have felt we need to partner together,” said Geoff Rasmussen, founder of Legacy Family Tree Webinars. “The technology behind their online trees and historical records is incredible — second to none. MyHeritage has positioned itself to become the leader of the future of the genealogy industry and we can be a part of it. It’s the perfect match: our software and webinars combined with their resources, technologies, and international reach will help both of us accomplish our mission — to help the world find their ancestors.”

“I’m excited for us to join forces with MyHeritage,” said Dave Berdan, President of Millennia Corporation. “MyHeritage clearly cares for genealogists and continues to invest in desktop genealogy software, in contrast to one of its major rivals that has done the opposite, shutting down its desktop genealogy software and then selling it off. As we’re passionate about genealogy, our team is happy to have found in MyHeritage kindred spirits and we’re excited about the value that we can create together to benefit millions of genealogists worldwide.”

For more information about this announcement and for answers to frequently asked questions, visit:

Monday, July 31, 2017


Daniel Steele Durrie writes about my ancestor Nicholas Holt's family. Some of this either
contradicts what I thought I knew and some is brand new. I'll discuss that in a following post:

 Nicholas Holt was married in England, a few years before he came to Massachusetts. The Christiau name of his first wife was Elizabeth, of whom nothing further is known than that she died at Andover, Nov. 9, 1650. He married second, June 20, 1658, Hannah, widow of Daniel Rolfe, aud daughter of Humphrey Bradstreet. She died June 20, 1665, at Andover.

He married third Mrs. Martha Preston, May 21, 1000. She died March 21, 1703, aged 80 years.

Nicholas Holt lived to a good old age, aud died at Andover, January 30, 1685, aged 83 years. He had the privilege of seeing his family grow up to manhood and womanhood. Of his ten children, eight were married and had families, one died before one - year of age, and one probably died unmarried. As the infirmities of age came upon him he distributed his property to his children, and they agreed to provide for his comfortable maintenance as well as his wife if she survived him. There is no will on record. in early life he probably carried on the business of a tanner, as that calling is attached to his name on the ship roll. While in the prime of life, he was engaged in agricultural pursuits; a few years before his death, in dividing his property among his children, he styles himself "Dishturner," probably a manufacturer of woodenware.

CItildren of Nicholas1 (1) Holt and first wife Elizabeth.
2. 1. Hannah2 (12) prob. eldest child b. in England and came with her parents to Mass. She m. March 8, 1669, Robert Gray then of Salem, Mass., who d. at Andover 1718, aged 80. In 1660, he was fined for attending a Quaker meeting. His father-in-law, March 10, 1680, deeded him lands in Andover, at which time he was a resident of that place. His children were born in Salem and recorded there. 4 ch.

3. 2. Elizabeth2 (16) b. at Newbury, Mass., march 30, 1036; m. by Rev. Simeon Bradstreet, Oct. 26, 1658, Ralph Farnum of Andover. She d. at Andover, Aug. 26, 1683, aged 47. He d. at Andover, Jan. 8, 1692. 7 ch.

4. 3. Mary2 (23) b. at Newbury, Oct. 6, 1638; m. at Andover, July 5, 1657, Thomas Johnson. She d. at Andover, Nov. 15,1700. He d. same place, 1719, aged 88. 6 ch.

5. 4. Samuel2 (29) b. at Newbury, Oct. 6, 1641. He m. Sarah Allen her name, and date of m. not recorded. He d. at Andover, Nov. 7, 1703, aged 62. She d. at same place, April 3, 1716, aged 70. His father by deed, dated June 16, 1682, deeded him one-half of his sixty acres of upland, on which his house then stood; one hundred and thirty acres of his great division; one-half of his meadow called Ladle meadow, and various small pieces. In consideration of which, he was to pay fifteen shillings to the town and church yearly, as a part of his rate to the ministry, and twenty shillings a year to him, the said Nicholas, for his maintenance. Samuel and wife were members of the Congregational church in 1686. He was made a freeman, 1691. 2 ch. ,

6. 5. Henry2 (31) Andover, 1644; m.Feb. 24,1669, Sarah, daughter of William Ballard. She d. at Andover, Nov. 25, 1733. He d. Jan. 17, 1719, aged 75. They united with the Andover church, June 3, 1716. He was a prominent man in the town, and his name is frequently found on committees. In 1686, he received permission to erect a mill on Ladle brook. His father deeded him a portion of his estate, 1681. 14 ch.

7. 6. Nicholas2 jr, (45) b. at Andover, 1647; m. Jan. 8, 1679, Mary probably dau. of Robert Russell. He d. at Andover, Oct. 8, 1715, aged 68. His wife d. April 1, 1717. Sept. 9, 1684, his father deeded him "one-third of the farm where he now dwells," also several parcels of land, also his dwelling house with "ye cellar rooms and Leantowe, and other convenience of house room adjoining." -In consideration of which Nicholas jr. agrees to fulfill certain conditions, and to provide for his father until death, and afterwards to pay a certain sum to his mother-in-law. 11 ch.

8. 7. James2 (56) b. at Andover, 1651; m. Oct. 12, 1675, Hannah Allen, who d. Sept. 30, 1698. He d. Dec. 13, 1690,-aged 39 of Small Pox, on which day his youngest child d. of same disease. Himself and wife united with the Andover church 1686 (North Parish). lie received from his father, April 15, 1681, by deed, a portion of his estate. He left no will. His property was appraised at £230:10. 7 ch.

9. 8. Priscilla2 b. at Andover June 20, 1653; d. Oct. 16, 1653, aged 4 months.

Children of Nicholas Holt (1) hij second wife Hannah.

10. 9. Rebecca2 b. at Andover, Nov. 14, 1662. No further information is found on the records. She probably died young.

11. 10. Johns (63) b. at Andover Jan. 14, 1003—4; m. July 3, 1685, Sarah Geerey. He d. March 10, 1687, aged 24. His widow m. 2d, Nov. 2, 1687, John Preston. He received from his father, June 19, 1685, a portion of his father's estate. 2 ch.-pp11-13

A Genealogical History of the Holt Family in the United States: More Particularly the Descendants of Nicholas Holt of Newbury and Andover, Mass., 1634-1644, and of William Holt of New Haven, Conn, J.Munsell, Pub., Albany, NY, 1864 

To be continued.


((First posted Oct 2015))

A few things about my previous post about Thomas Johnson being charged and convicted
of selling liquor to the Indians:

One of the things that struck me reading the court files was how Nicholas Holt referred
to Thomas Johnson as his son-in law. It was common back in Puritan New England to refer
to in-laws as son, daughter, father, or mother to show you considered them as close to you
as your own parents or children by blood.  So I think by using the term"son -in-law" Nicholas
is trying to show his displeasure with Thomas Johnson and distance himself from his actions.
Conversely, Thomas'  father John Johnson refers to Mary (Holt) Johnson as "his daughter".
Was their a break between Nicholas Holt and his daughter Mary over the actions of her husband? Sometimes I wish there was a way to go back in time to question the people in
these storie to get their thoughts and opinions of each other.

 Another thought I had was about the people involved in the case. It may have been a sign
of changes in Andover, Ma. where they all lived. Here's a list of the original settlers of
Andover. The ones with an asterisk after their names are my ancestors or relatives, the
names in red were witnesses in the case:

Mr. Bradstreet
John Osgood
Joseph Parker

Richard Barker*
John Stevens*
Nicholas Holt*
Benjamin Woodbridge
John Fry
Edmond Faulkner
Robert Barnard
Daniel Poor*
Nathan Parker
Henry Jaques
John Aslett (or Aslebe)
Richard Blacke(Black)
William Ballard*
John Lovejoy*
Thomas Poore
George Abbott*
John Russe
Andrew Allen
Andrew Foster
Thomas Chandler*

Abbot, Elinor, Our Company Increases Apace: History, Language, and
Social Identity in Early Colonial Andover, Massachusetts.

(Dallas, Texas: SIL International, 2007)

Nicholas Holt, Willam Ballard, John Lovejoy and Thomas Chandler are all my 9x great grandfathers.  Thomas Johnson was someone who came to Andover after the original
settlers.One can only speculate if my ancestors regarded such activities as selling
liquor to the local Indians as a sign that Andover was straying from the Christian
principles of its beginnings.


((A story involving my ancestor Nicholas Holt and his family, First posted in Oct.2015))

Yet another Essex County, Massachusetts court case involving my ancestors and  their
relatives. This one concerns my 9x great grandfather Nicholas Holt, his daughter Mary,
and her husband Thomas Johnson, all of Andover, Ma. Among the witnesses are my
ancestors Thomas Chandler, William Ballard, and John Lovejoy

Court held at Ipswich, Apr.18, 1671
Thomas Johnson, presented by the grand jury upon a common fame for selling strong waters to the Indians, pleading not guilty and putting himself upon trial by jury, whether he did sell or no. He was found guilty of selling two quarts to the Indians, and was sentenced to pay 8li. for selling. Also fined for perjury, bound to good behavior and disabled for giving evidence. John Perly and Edmond Bridges, jr., sureties.*

*Nicholas Holt, aged about sixty-three years, deposed that sometime in October or November last, hearing of a rumor in the town that his son-in-law Thomas Johnson had sold strong liquors to the Indians and had taken an oath to clear himself, he went to his house to speak with him about it, but he not being at home, deponent discoursed with his wife about it. He told her that he heard her husband carried bottles of liquor to the Indians. She replied that there was a great deal more made of it than there was cause, and that she knew of only two or three quarts that he sold them. Sworn, 11:2:1671, before Simon Bradstreete.t

Ens. Tho. Chandler, aged about forty-three years, deposed that about the time that Thomas Johnson was at Cambridge about his selling strong water to the Indians, deponent was speaking with John Johnson, father of said Thomas, who told him about what Thomas's wife Mary said. Also that Thomas told deponent that he carried up two bottles to the Indians, and that there was nothing in them, but he carried a bottle of liquor in his pocket and gave the Indians a dram and they gave him another. Sworn, 11:2:1671, before Simon Bradstreete,* assistant.

Jos. Ballard, aged about twenty-six years, deposed that if he gave a dram or two to the Indians, what was that to any man? Sworn, 12 :2 : 1671, before Simon Bradstreete.*

Joseph Wilson, aged about twenty-six years, deposed that some time the last harvest, he sold two bottles to some Indians whose names he knows not, which bottles they left at Thomas Johnson's. Some time after, deponent went to borrow a bottle of said Johnson, who lent him one of those bottles. He also gave deponent another "which his brother made to bring him some strong liquors from Ipswich, whither hee was goeing but getting noe liquors there, hee left one of the sd bottles wth his brother for his owne use, & there it remaines still for ought hee knowes the other hee sold to yong Tho. Burage att his returne Tho. Johnson was pvoked & angry that hee brought him no liqrs & sd hee should not haue had his horse but vpon yt acct the next day as hee thinks it was the said Johnson came to him to borrow a bottle & sd hee was in great want of it & must haue some, soe not haueing one of his owne hee lett him haue one of his Fathr Loveioyes & wth wch & another hee went to Newbury as hee sd to fetch liquors the next day hee mett him comeing home not farr from his shopp & being something in a sack behinde him knocked on the head of a bottle, wch hee pceiued was full & further sayeth yl one of the bottles found wth the Ind. & now brought to Andour is yt bottle w*h hee sent him." Sworn, 12 :2 :1671, before Simon Bradstreete,* assistant.

John Lovejoy, aged about forty-nine years, deposed that the said Johnson being very angry that he had brought him no liquors from Ipswich said it would be 40s. out of his way for they stayed for it, "cliping his words as it were in yl speech," etc. Sworn, 12 :2 : 1671, before Simon Bradstreet.*

Willm. Ballard, aged about fifty years, deposed that being at Mr. Hinchman's and discoursing about Tho. Johnson, said Hinchman said he did not question that he sold to the Indians, and sat upon and delivered to this deponent a bottle which he said he had from the Indians to see whether it would be owned at Andover. As yet he had found no owner, etc. Sworn, 12: 2 : 1671, before Simon Bradstreete.*

John Johnson, aged sixty-seven years, deposed that he never heard his daughter Mary Johnson say that her husband sold to the Indians, etc.

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1667-1671 (Google eBook) VOL IV, Essex Institute, Salem Ma. 1914


Continuing on with the sncestors of Zerviah (Abbott)Ellingwood, we come to my immigrant ancestor and 9x great grandfather Nicholas Holt. I found quite a bit about him in a Holt family genealogy so this will be two posts. Here's what author Daniel Steele Durrie wrote about Nicholas:

Nicholas Holt was one of the first settlers of Newbury and Andover in the county of Essex, state of Massachusetts. Neither the exact time nor the place of his birth is known. From the record of his death it appears he was born in the year 1602.

The first definite information we have respecting: him, is as a passenger in the ship James of London, William Cooper, master, which sailed from the port of Southampton, Eng., in and about the sixth day of April, 1635, and of his arrival at Boston, in Massachusetts, on the third of June following, after a voyage of fifty-eight days. The names of fifty-three male persons are found as passengers on the ship roll, "besides the wives and children of dyvers of them." Among the former occurs the name of Nicholas Holt of  Romsey, tanner. He was undoubtedly accompanied by his family, which consisted of a wife, and at least one child. He proceeded the same year to Newbury, and resided there for the period of ten years.

In the volume of the Proprietors' Records of that town as one of the grantees, his allotment's of lands are thus desecibed: "A house lot of four acres be it more or less, bounded by High street on the South, Mr. [Edward] Rawson on the North, Archelaus Woodman on the West, and James Brown on the East. Also, a field lott forty acres, be it more' or less, over the little river, bounded by Nicholas Noyes on the South, the little river on the North and East, and Abraham Tappan on the West. Another field lot of thirty acres, be it more or less of upland and meadow, bounded by a great creek on the South, Henry Rolf on the North, the little river on the West, and the way, on the East." The present location of the first two grants of land, and the exact date when they were granted, can not now be ascertained. The last lot of meadow and upland was granted in 1641, and afterwards became the property of William Trotter, and from him deeded to Nicholas Wallington, and from him to John Woloott, and is now owned by Tristram Little, and is called Holt's Neck.

The first book of church records of Newbury, prior to 1674, is lost, and consequently his name is not found; though there is no possible doubt of his being a member of the church at that place.

In 1637, his name appears, as one of ten persons who in order to vote to prevent the re-election of Sir Henry Vane as governor, and to strengthen the friends of Gov. Winthrop, went from Newbury to Cambridge on foot (40 miles),qualified themselves to vote by taking the freeman's oath on the 17th of May, 1637- Winthrop was chosen governor, and Sir Henry Vane and his friends were in a minority.

His name further appears on the Newbury records: Feb. 24,1038, when it was voted that Nicholas Holt and five others should be fined two shillings and six pence a piece for being absent from town meeting, having "due and fitt warning." And on the 21st of April following, he was fined the same amount for the same cause.

While residing at Newbury his children, Elizabeth, -Mary, and Samuel were born.

In 1644, Nicholas Holt removed with his family to Andover, and was one of the original settlers of that place. On a leaf in the town records, containing the list of householders in order as they came, his name is the sixth. He was one of the ten male members including the pastor elect that composed the church, at the ordination of Mr. John Woodbridge, Oct. 24, 1645.

As the early records of the town were destroyed by the Indians, with the exception of a few fragments, it is difficult at this date to ascertain definitely the allotments of lands to him, by the proprietors. In 1656, there is a memorandum " to enter grants of land in a new book, y old being rent and in many places defective and some grants lost." In 1714, the proprietors made their report separate from those of the town, and in them is to be found many records of land sales to the Holts in small lots.

As near as can be ascertained, he had a house lot of 15 acres, 100 acres of meadow land, and 300 acres, on what was known as the Stony Plain. A portion of this laud still remains in the family. The exact spot where his homesead was situated is not definitely known. The following notices of him, are taken from the Records of Massachusetts.'

"May 26, 1647, he was appointed in connection with Sergeant Marshall to lay out the way from Reading to Andover, and with Lieut. Sprague and Sergeant Marshall to view the river, and make return to the court of the necessity and charge of a bridge, and make return to the next session of this court." !! At a general Court held May 27, 1652, he was appointed with Capt. Johnson of Woburu, and Thomas Hanforth of Cambridge, to lay out the bounds of Andover." And May 18, 1653, he was appointed with Capt. Richard Walker, and Lieut. Thomas Marshall, to lay out the highway betwixt Andover aud Reading, and at the next term of court, Sept. 10, 1653, the committee made a report of said Survey.

A Genealogical History of the Holt Family in the United States: More Particularly the Descendants of Nicholas Holt of Newbury and Andover, Mass., 1634-1644, and of William Holt of New Haven, Conn, J.Munsell, Pub., Albany, NY, 1864 

To be continued.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


John Cutter West (from Kimberley Gautreau)

For years I and other West family members had been trying to breakdown a brickwall and solve the mystery of John Cutter West's parentage. I'd taken a y-DNA test four years ago in hopes it would help me find an answer but that hadn't worked. Now I tried the Ancestry autosomal DNA test, and suddenlly that brick wall finally came down.

This is how it happened,

I found I had a DNA connection with a descendant  of my great gransduncle John Cuvier West and in the course of our messaging back & forth Paula mentioned she had  information that traced our ancestry back to Francis West and Margery Reve of Duxbury,Ma.  She offered to mail me a photocopy of it along with a copy of another relative's Mayflower Society application which traced our lineage down from Richard Warren.

Of course I said yes and  thanked her for her help.

A few days later a manilla envelope arrived in the mail with both documents.  The West research is 16 pages long, most of it citations.  And to my surprise, I found I had seen the information before. It was a line that said John Cutter West was the son of Paul West & Hannah Crowell of Liverpool, Nova Scotia.  My sister Cheryl and cousin Yvonne Ball told me about the Paul West connection but I had been skeptical because of the discrepancy in birthplaces and also because my y-DNA test years ago hadn't put me in a haplogroup that showed descent from Francis West. But here was 16 pages of research and citations done by Frank Osgood, husband of West cousin Virginia (Thayer) Osgood.

I decided that John Cutter West may have lied for some reason when he gave his birthplace as  Plymouth, Ma. on his marriage certificate. I also decided to enter the information on my Ancestry tree and see if any new DNA matches were made with it. This is what the new West  line from Francis West down to my father looks like.

The next day I checked the Shared Ancestor Hints on my DNA Resukts Page, and there it was: a match with a descendant of Thomas West and Sarah Hamilton,who I now know to be my 5x great grandparents.

The brickwall is down. The Elusive John Cutter West is no longer elusive.

Thanks to Cousin Paula( whose last name I don't know because I threw out the envelope), Virginia (Thayer)Osgood) and Frank Osgood..

Saturday, July 29, 2017


There are nearly 2.8 million new records in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:.


Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

OVER 556,000 RECORDS  Explore these new additions to disover when your ancestor was born, where they were baptised, the date of their baptism, the names of their parents and residence.

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

OVER 278,000 RECORDS Search sacramental registers to discover when and where your ancestors were married. Records will also reveal the names of the couple’s fathers, their birth years and marital status.

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Registers Browse

OVER 65,000 RECORDS Browse 456 volumes of Catholic marriages and burials spanning 1800 through 1917. The browse function allows you to pore through whole registers in their entirety and can be searched by year, event type, parish, town, and/or county.

Staffordshire Monumental Inscriptions
OVER 127,000 RECORDS  Covering 168 churchyards, burial grounds, and cemeteries throughout the county, this record sets can help you discover an ancestor’s birth date, death date and residence, as well as the name of other family members such as parents, spouse, or children.


Lincolnshire Burials 1754-1812

New records: 90,437
Total records: 1,582,878
Covering: Over 300 locations across the county
Discover: Age at death, birth year, burial date, location

Monmouthshire Burials 1727-1987

New records: 2,406
Total titles: 374,312
Covering: Over 400 years of Monmouthshire history
Discover: Birth year, death date, burial date

Yorkshire Memorial Inscriptions

New records: 4,717
Total titles: 105,172
Covering: Greasbrough & Wentworth
Discover: Birth year, death year, memorial location, descriptions and inscription

Irish Newspapers

New articles: 1.6 million
New titles: Limerick Chronicle, Mid-Ulster Mail, Irish Independent, Northern Constitution
Covering: Family notices, advertisements, obituaries, local and national news
Discover: The realities of life in historic Ireland

Friday, July 28, 2017


My 9x great grandfather Ralph Farnham Jr was born in England in 1633 and came to Massachusetts with his parents on the James in 1635.The family eventually moved to Andover where Ralph Jr. married his wife Elizabeth Holt, daughter of Nicholas Holt and  Elizabeth Short. Apparently the two families had been fellow passengers on the James.

Ralph Jr and Elizabeth had ten children, all born at Andover. Ma. Four married Holt cousins:

Sarah, b.14 Jan 1661;  married Benjamin Abbott 22 Apr 1685 in Andover; died 10 Feb 1728

Ralph, b. 1 Jun 1662; married Sarah Sterling 9 Oct 1685 in Andover; died 3 Jan 1737.

John, b. 1 Apr 1664; married Elizabeth Parker 10 Apr 1684 in Andover; died 10 Jan 1729

Samuel, b.1665; married Hannah Holt  4 Jan 1698 in Andover; died 20 Dec 1754

Mary, b. 24 Mar 1666; married  William Lovejoy Nov 29 1690 in Andover; died 1739

Henry. b.7 Dec 1666; died 7 May 1683

Hannah, b.7 Dec 1668; married Samuel Holt 28 Mar 1693 in Andover; died 30 Jan 1758

Thomas, b.30 Jan 1758; married Hannah Hutchinson 14 May 1693 in Andover; died unknown

Elizabeth, b. 1672; married George Holt 10 May 1698 in Andover; died 1714

Ephraim, b. 1 Oct 1676; married Priscilla Holt 20 Mar 1700 in Andover; died 1744

Ralph Jr. died in Andover on 8 Jun 1692. The inventory of his estateplaced its value at 233 ppunds,
17 shillings, and 3 pence, half of it being in real estate. There was no will.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


My 3x great grandfather John Cutter West

So a little over a week ago I got my Ancestry DNA test results back and started exploring them. Some things have changed since then:

The number of matches who are 4th cousins or closer has gone up ten to 459.

Today Ancestry introduced me to my Genetic Circles, which are made up of those people who share a specific ancestor with me. More on that in another post.

But last week I started going through my DNA matches, starting with the three closest cousins on the list. One I was pretty sure was from my Mom's side of the family. When I finally figured out how to navigate the list I realized that the other two matches were as well. None had a family tree on Ancestry. So I messaged all three the following "form letter":

My name is Bill West and according to my Ancestry DNA test results we could be 2nd or 3rd cousins.

My Dad was Floyd West Jr, son of Floyd West Sr & Cora Bertha Barker. He was born in Bethel, Me.

My Mom was Anna M. White, daughter of Edward  F. White & Agnes McFarland and she was born in Boston, Ma.

You can view my tree at

Msg me back if any of this rings a bell. I'll be glad to share information with you.
Bill West

I haven't heard back yet from any of the three, but they haven't logged into Ancestry since I messaged them.Two haven't logged in for over six months. This looks like it will be a long wait.

But I had a happier result on the other side of the family. I was looking through the rest of the list and saw a 4th cousin who had a profile photo that looked of a person who looked like my Dad's Mom. I sent her the "form letter" and got a quick answer. Our DNA connection was not through my grandmother. It was from my 3x great grandfather, the Elusive John Cutter West.

My brickwall ancestor.

But that brickwall was going to come down.

To be continued.

Monday, July 24, 2017


Sarah (Farnham/Farnum)Abbott was the granddaughter of my 10x great grandfather and immigrant ancestor Ralph Farnham/Farnum of Andover, Ma. The reliable William Richard Cutter had this to say about him in one of his genealogical collections:

(I) Ralph Farnham, immigrant ancestor, was born in England in 1603. He came with his wife Alice from London in the brig “James”, sailing from Southampton, April 6, 1635. He gave his age as thirty-two, and his wife’s as twenty-eight and they had with them three young children, Mary, Thomas and Ralph. He was a barber by trade but followed husbandry after coming to New England. He settled first in Ipswich, of which he was proprietor in 1639. He settled finally in Andover, Massachusetts. He died January 5, 1692-93, and the inventory of his estate is dated March 29, 1693. Children: 1. Mary, born 1628, resided in Andover, where she died February 3, 1714; married Daniel Poor, of Andover, in Boston, October 20, 1650. 2. Thomas, mentioned below. 3. Ralph, born 1633, died January 8, 1691-92; married Elizabeth Holt, of Andover, October 26, 1658, she died October 14, 1710. 4. Sarah, born at Andover, married John Abbot, April 16, 1658; he was the ancestor of the most prominent Abbots in America. 5. John, born 1640.-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 1913

I'm descended from Ralph Farnham Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Holt.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Nearly 5 million new British church and newspaper records are in the Findmypast Friday releases
for 21 July:


Somerset Baptisms Index

OVER 2.1 MILLION RECORDS  Search transcripts of original baptism registers dating back to 1501 to discover where and when your Somerset ancestors were baptised as well as their religious denomination, parents' names, residence and father's occupation


Somerset Banns Index

BROWSE 258,000 VOLUMES Were your Somerset ancestors married via the ancient legal tradition of banns? Search transcripts dating back to 1577 to discover where and when their banns were read, their residence, marital status, intended year of marriage and the name and residence of their intended spouse.


Somerset Marriages Index

OVER 1 MILLION RECORDS Explore parish marriages spanning nearly 500 years. These transcripts will provide you with a marriage date, location and the names of the couples' fathers. Later records may even reveal the names of any witnesses present.

Somerset Burials Index

OVER 1.5 MILLION RECORDS Find out if your West Country ancestors were laid to rest in the county of Somerset and discover their year of birth, year of their death and residence as well as the date and location of their burial.


British Newspapers

New articles: 1,161,996
New Titles: 9
Covering: South East England, Kidderminster, Southwestern Scotland, Aberdeenshire and the central Lowlands
Discover: Thousands of local and regional publications across the England, Wales, and Scotland

Friday, July 21, 2017


Going back up the family tree to the ancestors of the Abbott wives, we start with George Abbott's
father in law William Chandler. Luckily I found n family genealogy one written by George
Chandler in 1883.  The biography of William Chandler includes a rather convoluted theory about
the possible identity of William's wife Annis:

WILLIAM1 CHANDLER and Annis  his wife settled, 1637, in Roxbury, Mass. They brought with them four children. Their youngest, Sarah, is the only one whose birth is recorded in this country. In the history of Roxbury it is stated that, " It has been remarked that no people can boast of more honorable descent than are those of Massachusetts;" and that, "The Roxbury people were the best that came" from England.

What Annis's surname was before marriage does not clearly appear. Dea. George Alcock, of Roxbury, in his will of 1640, said: "To our brother Edward Porter 20 bushels of Indian Corne, and to our brother Chandler the Monye he oweth me" "for half the fence betwixt him and me." "My brother Mr. Hooker" to be "overseer." Mrs. Alcock was sister of Rev. Thos. Hooker. She died in Roxbury. Edward Porter married a sister of Dea. George Alcock. Gov. Dudley, in a letter to Lady Lincoln, says, "Mrs. Alcock, sister to Mr.Hooker." Hence it may well be supposed that " Annis "*was a sister of Dea. George Alcock.

Annis Chandler was admitted to the church in Roxbury "at the same time her husband William Chandler was."

The Roxbury Records, as reprinted in the "Norfolk County Journal," say: "William Chandler came to N. E. about the yearr 1637. He brought 4 small children: Thomas, Hannah, John, William; his 5th child Sarah was born here; he lived a very religious and godly life among us, and fell into a Consumption to which he had, a long time, been inclined; he lay near a yeare sick, in all which time his faith, patience & Godliness & Contentation So Shined that Christ was much glorified in him—he was a man of Weake parts but Excellent faith and holiness; he was a Very thankful man, and much magnified God's goodness. He was poor, but God prepared the hearts of his people to him that he never wanted that which was (at least in his Esteem) Very plentiful and Comfortable to him —he died about the____  in the yeare 1641, and left a Sweet memory and Savor behind him."
The Eliot Church Records say, " William Chandler, a Christian. Godly brother, died of a Consumption month 11, day 26, 1641, and was buried 1!< (11) 1641, in Roxbury." 

The children of William Chandler were:
2. i. Hannah, b. about 1629; m. first, "12 Dec. 1046," say the Eliot Church Records of Roxbury, in the hand writing of John Eliot the apostle, "George Abbot;" second, 1690, Rev. Francis Dane, of Andover.

3.  ii. Thomas, b. 1630; ra. Hannah Brewer.

4. iii. William; m. first. Aug. 18 (or 3, another record says), 1658, Mary Dane, of Ipswich; second, 8 Oct. 1679, Bridget Henchman, widow of James Richardson, by " Sam'l Adams, commissioner."

5. iv. John; m. "ffeb. 16, 1658," Elizabeth Douglas.

6. v. Sarah, b." Roxbury; m. first, 4 Nov. 1659, William Cleaves; second, Wilson ; third, 11 Oct. 1688, Eph. Stephens ; fourth, Allen.


The Chandler Family: The Descendants of William and Annis Chandler who Settled in Roxbury, Mass., 1637,  Printed for the Family, Press of C.Hamilton. Worcester, Ma. 1883

I have a double descent from William Chandler, one through my Abbott line, and the other through
my Phelps line, which I will be discussing in the future.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


5x great grandfather Jonathan Abbott 3rd was born on 29 Aug 1740 in Andover, Ma. He married
his cousin Mehitable Abbott, (daughter of Ephraim Abbott but I don't know yet what degree cousin she was to Jonathan.) in 1764. After she died on 1 Jan. 1777, he married another cousin Dorcas Abbott (daughter of Stephen Abbott) on 17Dec 1778. She died on . 3 Mar. 1844.

Jonathan had nine children, six with Mehitable, three with Dorcas, all of whom were born at Andover, Ma.

With Mehitable
Mehitabel, b. 29 Sept. 1764 ; m. Benjamin Russell
Sarah, b. 22 June, 1766; d 25 July, 1845 ; m. Jonathan Stickney
Zerviah, b. 19 Mar. 1768; m. John Ellingwood Sr.
Abigail, b. 30 July, 1770; d. 2 June, 1810; m. Theodore Russell
Hannah, b. 18 Nov. 1774; m. Simeon Twitchell
Jonathan, b. 11 June, 1776; d. 7 Jan. 1843; m. Betsey Batchelder

With Dorcas
Stephen, b. 30 Dec. 1779; d. I Oct. 1835; m. Hannah Russell
Dorcas, b. 6 Mar. 1782; m. George Valpey
Phebe, b. 17 Jan. 1788; m. Joshua Ballard

Of the six older children, four moved to Maine: Mehitable, Zerviah, Hannah and Jonathan.

Jonathan was a Revolutionary War veteran but trying to nail down exactly where he served is made difficult by him being one of several Jonathan Abbotts from Andover who served.

He seems to have been well off, though. He died in Andover on 26Dec 1821 leaviing a will in which he left $300 dollars to each of his daughters and thirty silver teaspoons which were to be divided equally among them.He left all his clothes to oldest son Jonathan and his real estate to younger son Stephen.   

By this time, my 4x great grandmother Zerviah(Abbott) Ellingwood had  been married over thirty years in Maine.  

Monday, July 17, 2017


UPDATE: I have broken down my John Cutter West brickwall. Details to follow in a 
later post. 

Late Saturday afternoon I glanced at my email and found  my Ancestry DNA test results were in!  This was an early and pleasant surprise because Ancestry had said it would be 6-8 weeks before I'd see them and here they were in 4 weeks.

So I opened the email, hit the link to see my results....and found my self slightly confused and mystified.

Here's the Ethnicity Estimate graphic:

And here's the entire Ethnicity Estimate:
51% Irish
25% Scandinavian
12% Iberian Peninsula

Low confidence:
1% Africa North
3% Italy/Greece
2% Great Britain
2% Europe East
2% Europe West.
Less than 1% European Jew
Less than 1% Caucasus

It's those small amounts of exotic (for me) genes that have m emystified : North African, Italy/Greece, Europe East, Europe West, Caucasus. Did I have Crusader ancestors who brought home wives from the wars or did some Vikings with wives from their travels settle among the Irish?

More bits of information from the test results:

I have 449 DNA matches who are 4th cousins or closer, and 138  of them with share hints I have.

My total DNA matches when more distant cousins are factored in are  19,300!

As Ancestry finds more matches those numbers will go up.

The frustrating  part is the number of people I have matches with who don't have family trees on Ancestry so I can see how we match up. I don't understand why people would do that. Are they only interested in their ethnic origins but not in their ancestors? It's like buying a sports car but never driving it!

Ah well!

I'm in the early stages of exploring all this. I'll be blogging more about it as I go along.


The Findmypastfriday records released for 14July add 121,606 more records to the English Roman Catholic collections:


England Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

New records: 94,687
Total records: 583,192
Covering: Parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Discover: Birth date, baptism date, location, parents’ names & additional notes

England Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

New records: 8,817
Total records: 110,962
Covering: Parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Discover: Marriage date, location, father’s name, spouse’s details & additional notes

England Roman Catholic Parish Burials

New records: 1,857
Total records: 51,737
Covering: Parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Discover: Birth year, death date, burial date, location, parents’ names & burial plot

England Roman Catholic Parish Congregational Records

New records: 16,245
Total records: 169,210
Covering: Parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Discover: Your ancestor’s relationship with their local parish

England Roman Catholic Parish Registers Browse

New records: 118,334
Total records: 747 registers
Covering: Parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Discover: Thousands of sacramental registers of baptisms, marriages & burials


Friday, July 14, 2017


My 6x great grandfather Jonathan Abbott Jr. was born in Andover, Ma on 14Dec 1714 and married  Martha Lovejoy there on 8 Oct 1739. They had three children there, all of whom are mentioned
in Jonathan's will:

Jonathan Abbott 3rd, b.29 Aug 1740  Andover, Essex, Ma; m. cousin Mehitable Abbott.

William Abbbott, b. 21 Jan 1746  Andover. Essex, Ma; m. cousin Sarah Holt

Martha Abbott ,  b.3 Feb 1749  Andover, Essex, Ma; m. Oliver Whiting.

There may have been a fourth child, Nathan, but I have found no record of his birth or any other
vital record for him.

Notice the sons married Lovejoy and Abbott cousins. It happened many times among George Abbott's descendants.In fact, Jonathan Jr.'s second wife was another cousin, Mary Abbott.

Jonathan Jr died on 31May 1794 and I found his will at There's two copies
of his will, worded exactly the same, but one is clearly a better handwritten copy of the orginal. I'll
be posting them here once I've transcribed them.

Sunday, July 09, 2017


 This week's Findmypast Friday release includes over 100 maps from Ireland:

 Dublin City Ordnance Survey Map 1847

33 MAPS 
Find out what Dublin was like when your ancestors walked its streets. Explore these large-scale government maps and uncover the locations of all the streets, buildings, gardens, lanes, barracks, hospitals, churches that made up the city at the start of the Great Famine.

Ireland, Maps and Surveys 1558-1610

Explore historic maps that were created to assist the English in the plantation of Ireland during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. The maps are beautifully decorated and were used to inform settlers of the locations of rivers, bogs, fortifications and harbours. They also detail the names of the numerous Gaelic clans and the lands they owned.

Wiltshire Wills and Probate Index 1530-1881

Does your family tree have roots in 16th century Wiltshire? Search for your ancestor in this free index to discover their occupation, if they left a will and when they left it, along with the archive reference number needed to order the original image.

London Marriage Licences 1521-1869

Explore PDF records containing thousands of names to find out if your London ancestors were married by licence. Discover their occupation, marital status, father’s name, previous spouse’s name (if widowed) and corresponding details for their spouse.

Saturday, July 01, 2017


Do you think one of your ancestors may have fought in the Revolutionary War? You can find out free for the next two weeks as the Fold3 website is giving researchers free access to their Revolutionary War collections. I received an email from them this morning with the details. Be sure to read the terms and conditions at the bottom of the notice:

Access Revolutionary War Records for Free*

Do you have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War? Now is the perfect time to learn more about them, as Fold3 is giving free access* to our Revolutionary War Collection July 1–15.

There are 20+ titles in our Revolutionary War Collection. Popular ones include:

Revolutionary War Pensions
The records in this collection include entire pension files for soldiers and sailors who served in the Revolutionary War. Unlike selected records, which were typically chosen subjectively for genealogical content, these records reveal more details about each veteran's history and service, as well as more information about his family, state of health, and life after the war. Every name mentioned in the pensions has been indexed, not just the soldier’s name, which makes finding people even easier.

Revolutionary War Service Records
These are compiled service records for the regular soldiers of the Continental Army, and for the militia, volunteers, and others who served with them. The records are arranged under the designation "Continental Troops" or a state name, then by organization, and then alphabetically by a soldier's surname. Records consist of card abstracts of entries relating to each soldier from original records. Also included are regimental lists including muster rolls, pay lists, and caption cards.

Revolutionary War Rolls
The primary function of the many Revolutionary War rolls maintained by the American Army was to provide basic information about the identities, numbers, condition, equipage, and pay status of the men and units that comprised the Army in order to facilitate administrative control. Browse these rolls by state and name of organization (regiment, battalion, guard, company, etc.). Find names of soldiers with the help of annotations supplied by other Fold3 users and feel free to add your own. Thousands of records from 138 rolls of microfilm provide names and details about the men who fought for independence.

Final Payment Vouchers Index for Military Pensions, 1818–1864
Pension payment records are not typically found in pension application files. These cards were created as an index for the final payments made to either the veteran or his widow. They provide additional details on where a family may have moved in the early- to mid-19th century, death dates of veterans, widows, or dependent children, and sometimes the maiden name of a widow.

Get started searching or browsing the Revolutionary War Collection on Fold3!.

*Access to the records in the featured collections will be free until July 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. MT. Free access requires registration for a free Fold3 account. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using a paid Fold3 membership.

Friday, June 30, 2017


This week's Findmypast Friday release for 30June has nearly 8.5 new records, including the Canadian Censuses of 1865 and 1871:



 Canada Census 1861

OVER 2.9 MILLION RECORDS  Explore the last Census of the Province of Canada. Covering Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec), these records allow you to discover where your ancestor was living, who they were living with, when and where they were born, their marital status, and their religion.


Canada Census 1871

OVER 3.5 MILLION RECORDS Explore the first Census of the federation of Canada. Covering 206 districts and 1,701 sub-districts in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario & Quebec, the 1871 census recorded residents’ age, year and place of birth, origin, marital status, family number, and religion.


Yorkshire Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts Browse

OVER 130,000 RECORDS Browse through more than 11,000 volumes of vital records dating back to 1538 and discover ancestors who were born, married, or died in Yorkshire to uncover valuable biographical details.


Yorkshire baptisms:

New records: 638,108
Total records: 5,297,722
Covering: Sheffield and the East Riding
Discover: Denomination, baptism place, date, location, parents’ names

Yorkshire Banns

New records: 31,827
Total records: 609,658
Covering: Sheffield and the East Riding
Discover: Banns date, location, residence, spouse’s name, intended marriage year

Yorkshire Marriages

New records: 412,913
Total records: 2,967,360
Covering: Sheffield and the East Riding
Discover: Birth year, marriage date, marriage place, marital status, residence, occupation, father’s name, spouse’s details


Yorkshire Burials

New records: 575,559
Total records: 4,744,063
Covering: Sheffield and the East Riding
Discover: Birth year, age at death, burial place, burial date

 Irish Newspapers

New articles: 155,356
Titles updated: Catholic Standard
Covering: 1933-1949, 1951-1957
Discover: Weekly news reports



New articles: 28,600
Titles updated: 8
Covering: Ontario, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan & Rhode Island
Discover: Articles, photos, other material you might not find using traditional search methods


My 7x great grandfather Jonathan Abbott Sr. is the first of three ancestors with that name.  
I don't know much about him outside of  the housing of the Acadian families in one of his houses
This is what I have for him so far, from the

JONATHAN ABBOT, m. 1713, Zerviak Holt ; 4 Jonathan, b. 14
Dec. 1714; d. 21 May, 1794; 4 David ; 4 Nathan, b. 1718; d.
28 June, 1798 ; m. Abigail Ames; who d. 27 Aug. 1812, a. 89 ;
no issue; 4 Mary ; 4 Zerviah, m. 1745, Ephraim Blunt, Pem-
broke, N. H. 4 Job, b. 14 Oct. 1724; d. ; 4 Samuel, b. 1 Oct.
1727; d.; 4 Jeremiah, b. 10 Oct. 1733; d. in the French war of 1755.

A genealogical register of the descendants of George Abbot, of Andover; George Abbot, of Rowley; Thomas Abbot, of Andover; Arthur Abbot, of Ipswich; Robert Abbot, of Branford, Ct.--and George Abbot, of Norwalk, Ct ,  J.Munroe & Co., Pub. Boston, Ma. 1847

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


If you don't already have a free Guest membership at, now is the time 
to get one!

The following notice is in this week's The Weekly Genealogist from the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Free Access to


Celebrate Independence Day with free access to

Family historians and genealogists--declare your independence from an incomplete family tree! Search and browse the 1.4 BILLION records on, the award-winning NEHGS website.

These databases include vital records (state, church, cemetery, and more), U.S. census records, genealogical journal articles, probate records, and other collections that can help advance your research. Already a Guest Member of NEHGS? Your password is your passport to freedom--and to many new discoveries. NEHGS members can share this special offer with family and friends and invite them to join the celebration.

Visit our website from 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, June 29, through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, July 6, for access to all databases--with only a Guest Registration. Questions? Contact us!

This would be a good time for you to look for the records of your New England ancestors, especially the Probate Records for wills and estate inventories!


((Originally posted back in May 2007))

I mentioned in a post awhile back that I’d found a website with
an account of Acadian exiles who were sent to Andover, Ma. after
their expulsion from their Canadian homes. Some of them ended
up living for a time in a house owned by Jonathan Abbott, one of
my ancestors.

Twenty-six Acadian men women and children were sent to
Andover in February 1756 and the families of Germaine Landry
and his two sons-in-law Jacques Hebert and Charles Hebert were
placed in a vacant house owned by Jonathan:

“It was, however, a great annoyance to the Puritan farmer to
have these tenants,-- foreigners and Roman Catholics, quartered
near his own residence. But, as his descendants relate, the
Acadians completely conquered the prejudices of this family and
of the community and gained the good-will of all acquaintances.
They were industrious and frugal. The women worked in the
fields pulling flax and harvesting. They practised the rites of their
religion in an inoffensive manner and commended it by their
Sarah Loring Bailey, 1880

Going by the dates I believe this Jonathan was the one born in
Andover 1Sept 1687 and who was married to Zerviah Holt.
According to Ms. Bailey the Acadians and the Abbotts parted on
friendly terms. The Landry and Hebert families eventually were
able to move to Quebec but apparently still had good feelings for
Jonathan Abbott for they sent him a token of their esteem in 1770:

“Two of them sent a souvenir to Mr. Abbot, which the family still
keep, a beautifully carved and polished powder-horn, made by
their own hands. It is inscribed:

His horn made in Alenstown
April Ye 5 1770
I powder with my brother ball
Most hero-like doth conquer all."

It is embellished with figures of animals,-- a turtle, a deer, a fox,
dolphins, etc., and also with representations of armies fighting,
soldiers in uniform with muskets, sabre bayonet, (all the soldiers
with hair tied in queues hanging down behind), also artillery
men and field pieces.” (ibid)
There is an ironic twist to the tale of the powder horn. Germaine
Landry passed away two weeks after the date of the inscription on
18 Apr 1770.

In trying to research more for this post I found a website on the
history of Andover which has selections from a historical series
run by the Andover Townsman newspaper. One entry, entitled
“Deserted Farms” notes that:

“(3) Jonathan died just a month before the date on the powder
horn sent by the French Arcadias who had known the old man
and his son (4) Jonathan to be real friends”- Andover Townsman
13 Nov 1896
It’s an interesting tale but I don’t think it was all that warm
and fuzzy as the later accounts would make it. The
people of Andover had lost men in the Canadian
campaign to wounds or illness. The Acadians are
referred to in the records as “Jacky Bear”, “Charles
Bear”, and “Germaine Laundry” which could be
simple ignorance of French pronunciation or nicknames
given the refugees and since there were probably no
priests available nearby to perform Roman Catholic
Mass there were ceremonies to arouse the old anger at
Papists among the townsfolk.

Still, it’s nice to know that those distant Abbott relatives
were able to see past their differences and deal humanely
with the Acadians.

I had never heard that there had been French Canadian
prisoners in Massachusetts, let alone that one of my
distant ancestors had a more than casual acquaintance
with some. Lucie LeBlanc Consentino whose website
is where I first read about Jonathan Abbott and the
Acadians tells me that there were 2,000 deportees to
Massachusetts and others were sent to other of the
English colonies along the Atlantic coastline. Outside of
the poem “Evangeline” by Longfellow, I was taught
nothing about this episode in American history and I’m
not certain that the poem is even read by today’s kids.

My thanks to Lucie LeBlanc Consentino for letting me
make use of her research from her website and my
apologies for the delay in getting this done. By the
way, she is a distant relative of Germaine Landry and
his wife Cecile Forest as well as of Charles Hebert.
If you haven’t visited her website Acadian & French-Canadian
Ancestral Home I highly recommend that you do so.

I’m a bit rusty on writing long pieces and I hope I’ve
cited everything correctly. It’s taken me longer than
I wanted to finally write this, actually.