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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chambers Family Revisited


Robert Chambers is referred to as The Old Soldier and is apparently the immigrant from Scotland. Some say the name was originally Chalmers, but I have not found a reliable source that verifies this claim. His wife’s name was Margaret but her maiden name remains a mystery. It is believed they had several children, some of whom were born in Scotland. Some older written histories indicate Robert was from Lanarkshire, another bit of unverified information. However it does give a place to start more intensive research and I have found families of Chambers in Peebles, a small town in Lanarkshire. All of what follows in this blog is based on data found in Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche, Wallace, Wallace Bridge, Sand Point and other communities in Colchester County.

Another important point to reference is that, as far as can be determined, this Chambers family is not connected to the Chambers family who migrated here from Newport RI. That group of colonists left RI when many others left New England to take advantage of the free land given away by King George. They settled in a very different part of Nova Scotia. In the History of Tatamagouche, by Frank H. Patterson, LL.B., Robert Chambers arrived in NS in the early 1800’s and by 1802, it was recorded that he held 430 acres, 230 at Brule Harbor and 230 at Chambers Point. By1806 he had received a deed to land.  He was the first person in Tatamagouche to receive a free hold title rather than a lease. Another theory that appears to have no solid evidence is that Chambers was related to Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres, who was a land holder and governor of PEI and Cape Breton. In one of his biographies, it is stated that James Chalmers was his son-in-law. At this point of my research, I have found no connection between Robert Chambers and James Chalmers. The time line of this doesn’t really match either. But something could still show up as more records are found and shared. However, the histories do state that Robert was a good friend of DesBarres and this may be why he received the first free hold title of land. It could also indicate they were related, but still there is no verification. I also have to consider that a Scotsman might have pronounced his name is such a way that it ‘sounded like’ Chalmers. If we take out the ‘a’ sound in Chambers and substitute it with an ‘aw’ sound or something similar, we could easily come up with a name that sounds like Chalmers but is actually spelled Chambers.                                   

                          The Chambers land was along the shore on the north side.

The sons of Robert Chambers and his wife, Margaret, were Samuel and James. No daughters or other sons have surfaced yet. James left for New Brunswick where he died, unmarried. It is quite possible that he is the James Chambers who is accredited with building the first ship in Tatamagouche, a small schooner of 16 tons, called the “Fish Hawk” in May 1818. His brother Samuel was born in 1783 in Scotland and may have been the eldest child. I will elaborate more on Samuel Chambers, even though I still have many blanks. He married Sarah Jane McBurnie (aka MacBurnie) c. 1803, most likely in Tatamagouche, NS. Sarah was b. 1786 and died at Sand Point, Colchester Co., NS in 1872. Samuel died in 1873 and he and Sarah are both buried at Sand Point Cem. Their children were:
          *Robert (c. 1805-1873) m. Catherine Millar (Millard) (c. 1808- bef. 1881)
          James (1807-?) m. Annie Patriquin (1821- ?)
          Samuel (1813-1896) m. Margaret Armstrong (1814 in Eng. - ?)
          Daniel Duncan (1815-1881) m. Catherine Unknown (1814-1850)
          David (1820-?) m. Nancy Agnes Foster (? - ?)
          Edward (1821-1894) m. Mary Ann Simpton (1822-1912)
          William (1821-?) m. Ruth Millman (1827-?)
          Catherine (1822-?) m. Benjamin Douglass (? - ?)
          John (1823-1904) m. Elizabeth Thompson (1821- 1911)
          Thomas (1830-?) m. Mary Ann Hingley (1829 - ?)

*Robert married Catherine ^Millar (Millard)
          Robert and Catherine do not appear on any of the available census records that I’ve been able to access. They had at least 8 children, all of whom were born in, around or near Tatamagouche, NS. On the land that his grandfather, Robert, received from DesBarres in 1806, he raised his family. Another stumbling block is not being able to discover any death or burial information on this couple.
{^There is a controversy on Catherine’s name. I’ve read as many sources as I can find and have discovered that Millar came from Scotland and Millard came with the Montbeliard immigration. Both spellings have been applied to Catherine but I haven’t determined her parentage yet, therefore, I also haven’t been able to determine whether the spelling is a clerical error, transcription error or  - is the incorrect spelling being applied as her surname. There is a land transaction, in 1854, where Edward Chambers (s/o Robert and Catherine) sold land in Barrasois to Peter Millard. Based on that, I’m leaning toward the name being Millard rather than Millar.

The children of Robert and Catherine were:
          Edward (1826-1918) m. in 1852 Rockland ME, Eliza Leggett (1826                                England – 1884)
          *James  (1830-1913) m. in 1852 Point Brule, NS, Sarah McPherson                                                 (1831- 1913)
          George (1832- ?)
          Elizabeth (1835- ?)
          Margaret (1836 - ?)
          John (1838 - ?)
          Sarah (1841 - ?)
          Robert (1845-1891) m. in 1870, Bridget Delahunt (c 1854 – 1891)

Edward’s occupation was listed as Shipwright and he is found in the USA Fed. census of 1850 in Bath ME. At that time, Bath had a huge ship building industry. When the work on the home front slowed down, there was always work to be had building ships in Bath ME. The men lived in boarding houses which lined the streets parallel to the Kennebec River. At one time there were over 200 shipyards, actively building ships. In 1852, he married Eliza Leggett who was b. in 1826 in Saxmundham, Suffolk, England. They were married in Rockland ME but were living in Memramcook, NB, by 1853 where their oldest child, Lorenzo, was born. A second child followed soon thereafter, George, b. 1855. However it appears as though George died as a young child, as he does not appear in the 1861 or 1871 Canadian census reports. Herbert Smith Chambers was the third child born. Then followed Matilda, Florence, Caroline (Carrie), Cynthia, Emma and Bessie. Catherine Chambers, mother of Edward is living with the family in the 1871 Canadian census. This could mean that Robert had died, which makes the death date of 1873 for him incorrect. I have been unable to locate a death record for him. In the Chignecto Post, Sackville, NB, Nov. 15 1883, it is recorded that Edward Chambers has sold his house and land to Capt. Erwin Buck and removed to Truro, NS. By 1881, Catherine has died, as she no longer appears in any census reports. Then in 1884, Eliza Chambers died. I haven’t been able to place Edward again until 1911 when he appears in the census, living with his oldest son, Lorenzo. Edward died in 1918 and is buried in Dorchester NB.

Edward and Eliza’s children:
          Lorenzo (1853 - ?) m. c 1875, Mary McKelvie (1852 - ?) – 15 children
          George (1855 - ?)
          Herbert S. (1858 – 1926 Vancouver BC) He was a diabetic amputee.                                                m. 1882, Sophia Gertrude Dixon (1863 - ?) – 4 children
          Matilda Sarah (1860 - ?) m. in 1878, John W. Smith (1849 - ?) -7 children
          Florence (1861 – bef 1911) m. in 1881, George Bishop ((1850 - ?)                                                    – 8 children
          Caroline (Carrie) (1864 – bef 1918) m. in 1883, David Crowe (1859 - ?)                         lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. – 2 children
          Cynthia (1867 - ?) {My note – Cynthia and Emma could be the same person, one                             being the first name and the other being a middle name. Or they could have                           been twins.}
          Emma (1867 - ?) m. in 1885, William Wade (1860 – aft 1922) – 2 children
          Bessie (1870- ?) m. in 1887, Frederick Forrest (1861 - ?) – 2 children

*James was also a ship builder and can be found in the 1850 Federal census for Bath ME along with his brother Edward. He returned to NS by 1852 when he married Sarah Jane McPherson at Point Brule, NS.

The children of James and Sarah were:
          *Alexander Scott (1855 – 1887) m. in 1878, Rebecca Cole (1854 - 1944)
          Emma Jane (1860 – c. 1913) m. in 1883, Edwin Hicks (1857 – 1906)
          Nancy Lavinia (1863 – 1946) m. in 1882, Beverly Thomas Vincent                                                      (1856 -  ?)
          John (1864 – 1864 ) @ 3 months
          William (1865 – bef 1930 in Jersey City NJ) m. 1890 in Bath ME, Elizabeth                     Blasland (1840 - ?) – 8 children
          James (1867 – 1869) @ 20 months
          George (1870 - ?) m. in 1890 Bath ME, Carrie Varney
          Ella May (1874 – 1946 in Westfield NJ) m1. in 1891 Portsmouth NH,                                                  Percy George Turner, m2. in 1904 NJ, Walter Tavenor

In the 1900 Fed. census for Jersey City NJ, it is stated that Sarah had been the mother of 13 children but only 5 were still living. So far, I’ve only been able to locate the names of eight children. By the 1900 census, I do know that *Alexander, John and James were no longer living. They were married for 3 years before *Alexander was born, which provides an opportunity for a child to have been born before him. Generally speaking, most married couples saw their first born within a year of their marriage.
*Alexander was b. in Nova Scotia but as a young child the family moved to Dorchester, NB where three prominent shipbuilders had busy shipyards. Alexander followed in his father’s foot steps as a shipbuilder/carpenter. At sometime after his marriage, he became a mariner, possibly because his brother-in-law, William E. Buck, was the Captain of various schooners. As the First Mate on the Arabella, they sailed to NY city with cargo and on the return trip, encountered a fierce storm off the Cape Cod coast and all was lost. His daughter, my grandmother, had just turned 7 years old.
Emma Jane married Edwin Hicks, a NB man who had moved to Brooklyn NY to work in the shipyards there. They had three daughters, the youngest being Eva, who died when she was 4. Edwin died in 1906, leaving Emma and the two daughters on their own. The 1910 Fed. census show both girls, Ada and Stella, employed as stenographers and Emma stated she had her own income. As yet, I’ve failed to find any further information of these women.
Nancy Lavinia married Beverly Thomas Vincent. His name has been written as Thomas Beverly, Thomas B. and Beverly T. as well. His occupation was reported as a cabin builder on one of the children’s birth records. This sheds no light on what type of cabins he built. Since they lived in Saint John, NB a cabin could be associated with ships, as opposed to the type built in the more remote rural areas, far from where he lived.
William married Elizabeth Blasland in 1890, Bath, ME. He was a carpenter/shipbuilder and by 1900 had moved on to Jersey City, NJ where there were busy shipyards. By the 1920 census, there were 8 children, all still living at home. The oldest six were all girls and the youngest two were boys. The children were:
          Frederica (Freda) (1893 - ?)
          Ethel (1896 - ?)
          Gertrude (1897 - ?)
          Wilma (1899 - ?)
          Bessie (1900 - ?)
          Ida (1903 - ?)
          Walter (1906 - ?)
          Albert (1913 - ?)

William must have died sometime before the 1930 Fed. census as Elizabeth is found listed as a widow, living with Freda, Walter and Albert. From 1930 on, I’ve been unable to find any factual information about this family.
A George Chambers married a Carried Varney in Bath ME, however it is uncertain if this is the George who was the son of James and Sarah Chambers. Not enough information was given, yet the time lines were appropriate. Carrie’s father owned a lumber mill and it is within the realm of possibility that that a carpenter/shipbuilder would be acquainted with him. Work will continue on George and many of the others whose information is lacking.
Ella May married Percy Turner in Portsmouth, NH in 1891. Two daughters were born before Ella discovered that Percy was a bigamist. By 1900 she is in NJ living with her parents. It is believed that James went there because of the shipbuilding and she and the two girls went along. There, she eventually married Walter Tavenor and had a son, also named Walter.

The Westfield Leader, Jul 16 and Aug 27 1913


Death Certificates: James and Sarah Chambers

Supreme Court Record Truro, NS 1869

History of Tatamagouche, by Frank H. Patterson LL.B

Land Records

Topographical maps

Chignecto Post, Sackville, Nov 15 1883

Canadian Census 1861, 1871,1881, 1891

US Federal census, 1850, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

McPhersons of Nova Scotia

Although I have touched on this family name before, I’d like to revisit it. Over the course of time, more names and more information has come to light and it may help someone looking into the Nova Scotia McPhersons. It might also generate some feed back which will enhance my research, as well.

The earliest Mcpherson I can find in my family tree is Donald. I have found that many of the early records have been lost due to the ravages of time and the elements, so it has been a struggle. From the death certificate of my gt. gt. grandmother, Sarah McPherson Chambers, I was able to learn that her father was named Donald. As luck would have it, the one reporting her death did not know her Sarah’s mother’s name. So with the help of my sister and some of the neat answers she got to her letters of inquiry, I found that Sarah’s mother was Susan Hingley. It appears that Sarah might have been one of the first two or three children born to Susan Hingley and Donald McPherson. They lived in a rather remote area of Colchester Co., Nova Scotia at the mouth of the French and Waugh Rivers, in Tatamagouche, a Mi’kmaq term.

From the information that has been gathered, Donald was a farmer who was born in Nova Scotia around 1801. He married Susan Hingley sometime before or around 1830. As far as can be determined they had a family of at least eight.  Sarah, my gt. gt. grandmother might be the eldest. Some of my research points to her having a brother, Hugh, born a year after her.
Family Group Sheet for Donald McPherson
Husband: Donald (Daniel) McPherson
Birth: 1801 in Pictou, NS
Death: Aft. 1881 in Waugh's River, Colchester Co., NS
Father: Unknown McPherson
Wife: Susan Hingley
1F        Name: Sarah McPherson
            Birth: 22 Dec 1831 in NS
            Marriage: 1852 in Point Brule, NS
            Death: 20 Aug 1913 in Westfield, NJ
            Burial: 22 Aug 1913 in Fairview Cem., Westfield, NJ
            Spouse: James C. Chambers

2M       Name: Hugh McPherson
            Birth: Jan 1832 in Nova Scotia
            Death: 15 Mar 1917 in Sandville, NS
            Spouse: Amelia Hoeg

3M       Name: Alexander McPherson
            Birth: 01 Jan 1834
            Marriage: 14 Oct 1857
            Death: 25 Jul 1911 in Clinton, MA
            Spouse: Dorcas Seaman

4F        Name: Annie McPherson
            Birth: Abt. 1838

5F        Name: Nancy McPherson
            Birth: 10 Nov 1840
            Death: 30 Jul 1917
            Spouse: James McPherson

6F        Name: Hannah McPherson
            Birth: 19 Oct 1846 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada; Twin
            Burial: 1926 in West Sackville, NB
            Death: 24 Aug 1926 in West Sackville, NB
            Spouse: Roderick McLeod

7F        Name: Margaret McPherson
            Birth: 19 Oct 1846 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada; Twin
            Marriage: 1865
            Death: 19 Jul 1930
            Spouse: William Eagan

8 M      Name: William Roderick McPherson
            Birth: 1849 in Sand Point, NS
            Marriage: 30 Jan 1868 in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada
            Death: Aft. 1872
            Spouse: Lilly Jane Tattrie

After some serious confusion over a dozen or more people named Donald McPherson, it cleared itself up with the 1881 Canadian census, where he was listed as Daniel. The people of the Maritime Provinces seem to use their middle names instead of their given names except for legal documents where they used their given names. When a census taker comes along and a head of house isn’t home, the person who gave the info gave the commonly used middle name. A research tip to self – always research both names if they are known.

1F      As indicated, Sarah McPherson Chambers didn’t stay in NS. They went to Wallace Bridge, NS where James was a mariner/ship builder. Their first son, my gt. grandfather, was born there. They moved to Dorchester NB where there were three ship yards. James worked for Hickman’s for about 30 years. Then they moved to Bath ME where the iron ships were being built. The sailing ships were being replaced by steamships. Their youngest daughter married and went to NJ to live. They soon followed and remained there until they both died, in their 80’s about 6 weeks apart. James and Sarah Chambers are buried in the Fairview Cem., in Westfield, NJ. Supposedly she had 13 children, but so far only eight names have been discovered. “The Westfield Leader” on Aug. 27, 1913 reported Sarah's death. She had been ill for two years. It says she was 82 and a native of NS. Their children were: All Chambers surname - Alexander Scott, Emma Jane (Hicks), Nancy Lavinia (Vincent), John, William, James, George, Ella May (Tavenor). Married names in ( ).

2M     Hugh McPherson is seen in the 1871 Canadian Census in Waugh’s River, NS with his wife Amelia (Hoeg) and his son Alexander. In the 1881 census for the same place he is shown with an additional 7 children. In 1891, his son Silas is still living in the household. In 1911, Hugh is living with his son Neil and his wife Lillian (Tattrie) and their 5 children. Hugh’s wife, Amelia is also listed. Their children were: All McPherson surname -  Alexander Scott, Susan, Annie (Mattatall), Neil, Daniel, Sarah, Thomas, Emma, William, Katie, Silas. I’ve been unable to find much more information about the children in this family. The possibility is that they immigrated to the States. This family is still a work in progress.

3M     Alexander McPherson moved to Clinton, MA and appears in the USA Fed census of 1880 living there with his wife Dorcas (Seaman), 4 children and a 16 year old niece, another Sarah McPherson. This Sarah is the right age to be the daughter of Hugh, mentioned above. He is listed as a carpenter. Two of his children and his niece are recorded as being employed at a carpet mill. His eldest child, James Chambers McPherson, has moved to Asheville, NC with his wife Emma (Trafford) and son, Jamie. James C. is listed as a Plumber/gas fitter. The children of Alexander and Dorcas were: All McPherson surname – James C., Susan, Daniel, Sarah, Emma, William, Lizzie Jane aka Jennie (McCracken). Susan apparently never married and was the informant on her father’s death certificate, Sarah died at the age of 3. There is also a birth record for Emma the same year as Sarah. I can find no further records on Emma but there is a death record for Sarah. Without evidence I can’t say they are the same person. However, this may be the use of a middle name rather than the given name. The other possibility is that they are twins. Daniel married and lived in Lynn, MA. He was a blacksmith for the railroad. There are no children listed for them. William stayed in the Worcester, MA area and, with his son, owned a fire Insurance business. Lizzie Jane or Jennie married Alpha MCracken, who was a fireman and they had 5 children.

4F      Annie McPherson is an unknown and may very well belong to a different Donald McPherson, of which there were many. She is still being researched in an effort to positively include her or eliminate her.

5F      Nancy McPherson has a birth year of 1840 and a marriage date of 1864 to James McPherson, a cousin, son of Neal and Margaret Hingley McPherson. According to all the census records found, all of her children were born in Nova Scotia. They were: Alexander, Mary, John (Mary and John were twins), Millie, Sidney, Stewart (Sidney and Stewart were twins), Daniel and Matthew. The family immigrated in 1881 to Bath ME where they remained. James was a carpenter, most likely associated with the ship building industry there. Their eldest son, Alexander, died shortly after they arrived in Bath ME at the age of 15. Their eldest daughter, Mary, never married and lived with a brother in the 1920’s. John stayed in Bath and worked at a foundry. Millie was married, divorced and back living with her parents by 1900. Sidney also stayed in Bath and also worked in a foundry.  Stewart was married and divorced by 1914. Daniel became a brick wall. There seems to be no record of him after arriving in Bath, ME. He doesn’t appear on any census as Daniel or by his middle name Herbert, nor do I find any death record. The last child was Matthew, an iron worker, who married and stayed in  Bath ME. Nancy died in 1917.

6F      Hannah McPherson was born in 1846 and was an identical twin to her sister Margaret. She married Roderic McLeod before 1872 and they had 5 sons. They lived in West Sackville, NB for most of their married life. Their children were: All surnames McLeod: William, Alexander, John, Zabud and Chester.  William was a blacksmith in a forging plant in Sackville, NB, later moving to New Glasgow NS. Alexander went to Vancour, BC where he died in 1950. I could only find the birth info on John and nothing further. Zabud married, had three children and died in 1935 in Sackville, NB. Chester, whose name is really Hazen Chester, married, had three children and died in 1967 in Sackville. Hannah died in 1926 and is buried in West Sackville, NB.

7F      Margaret McPherson, Hannah’s twin, married William Eagan in 1864 in Sackville, NB. They had 4 sons and 2 daughters, all born in NB. In 1892 they were in Bath ME, when one of their daughters married. Sometime during the early 1900’s they resettled in Brockton, MA. All of the children married and settled in the Brockton area, one of them in Needham, MA. According to a news article in my gt. grandmother’s book, the twin sisters hadn’t seen each other for twenty years and a reunion took place at their sister Nancy’s in Bath ME, sometime around 1910. The article said that the two so closely resembled each other that even people who knew them had a hard time telling them apart. Margaret died in 1930 and is buried in Brockton MA.

8M     William Roderic McPherson born in 1849, the youngest child of Donald and Susan. He married Lillian Jane Tattrie in 1868. They had three sons: Roderic, George and John Robert. William died sometime before 1881 when his wife and sons are recorded living with Donald (Daniel) and Susan McPherson at Waugh’s River in NS. I didn’t find a death record for him which leads me to believe he may have been lost at sea. My gt. grandfather was lost at sea and there is no death record listed for him either. Lilly remarried in 1888 to Samuel Buckler who was the son of William and Grizella McBurnie Buckler. Roderic moved to Boston and married in 1894. George was still living in Tatamagouche in 1934 when he was the informant on his mother’s death certificate.

Everyone of Donald’s children, except William, had a son named Alexander Scott. This would seem to indicate that someone of that name held some prominence within the family. For the time being, I am going to use this name as a theory that Donald’s father, the immigrant from Scotland, was named Alexander Scott. Perhaps that will open a few doors to further research and possibly lead to the area of Scotland from whence they came. 

                                      By Jvienneau at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5,                                                     

The Westfield Leader, Aug. 27, 1913

Federal Census records 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

Canadian Census Records 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901

Bath ME, Vital Statistics

Colchester Co. Nova Scotia, Vital Staistics

Automated genealogy

Naturalization Records

Draft Registrations

Friday, January 27, 2017

Great grandmother’s scrapbook/poetry/recipe book


My great grandmother, Rebecca Chambers, died when I was 4 1/2 mos. old so I never had a chance to know her.  However I have a book she must have spent some time working on. It appears to have been a book with blank pages and there is writing on some of the pages but she pasted newspaper clippings over most of them. I can distinguish isolated words but can make no sense of what the whole sentences are.

This appears to have been something she worked on between 1900 and 1915 as I have dates for some obits pasted among all the tidbits she found important.  There are many, many recipes from newspapers, cut out and carefully glued onto each page. Since she lived in Winthrop, MA and worked for a Dr. in Boston, there is no telling what newspapers she cut these from.

Interspersed with the recipes are other cut outs, some of news, poetry she must have found enjoyable, and others of homemade remedies. This last one caught my interest and I wondered just what concoctions were brewed up in the family kitchen 117 years ago.

Thought I’d share some of these. The first one I found was:

An Old Fashioned Cough Remedy
“In case of an obstinate cough or cold in the throat, so often among little children in the winter, take a 5-cent package of hops, steep one half in a cup and a half of water.  When cooked down to one half the amount strain and mix with one cup and a half of molasses and allow this mixture to just come to a boil. When cool it is ready and will keep any length of time. The hops soothe and quiet the throat and is not unpleasant to take. It saves buying cough syrups, which often take the child’s appetite away and upsets the stomach. In my own family, I have used this and found it helpful with myself as well as my little ones.
Dose – One teaspoonful after coughing spells. Mrs. Robert Treadwell, 19 Bellevue Ave. Cambridge
                                                                                                                                                  Cough Medicine
Boil four tablespoons of flaxseed in one quart of water, strain, add a cents worth of rock candy, half a cup or more of brown sugar and the juice of two lemons. Boil again, let cool and drink freely. If this remedy is given when the cough first appears it will afford immediate relief.   Zetland

Chapped Hands
If you are troubled with chapped and face this cold weather, fill a bottle with one-third glycerin, one-third water and one-third witch hazel. Use on hands and face at night. It is much better than rose water and glycerin and witch hazel is both healing and whitening to the skin. Many people can’t use rose water at all. They say it seems to burn the skin.  Eternal Progress

Treatment for Croup
Take the white of 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and beat well, then give to patient 1 teaspoonful every 15 minutes till all is taken. This has been known to stop a very croupy cough. Mrs. George Bourret. 22 Daniel St., Fitchburg

Remedy for Chapped Hands
Boil one pint of rain water, when cold add 1 heaping tablespoonful of rochelle salts, 1 teaspoonful of tincture of benzoin, perfume if desired. Mrs. Earnest Morse, Box 195, West Acton

To Strengthen a Child’s Legs
When a child’s legs seem weak, bathe them every night in warm water in which potatoes have been boiled.

For Sore Throat
Wring a flannel out of hot vinegar and sprinkle with pepper and bind on neck.
Emily F. Noyes, Woodsville, NH

There were many other ‘helpful hints’ about washing clothes, washing your hair, remedies for all sorts of ailments, but were repetitious to some degree. So I thought I would close this blog and get back to my other research, post haste.

I close with this:

Which month are you?

A January bride will be a prudent housekeeper and very good tempered.

A February bride will be a kind and affectionate wife and tender mother.

A March bride will be a frivolous chatterbox, somewhat given to quarreling.

An April bride will be inconsistent, not very intelligent but fairly good looking.

A May bride will be handsome, amiable and likely to be happy.

A June bride will be impetuous and generous.

A July bride will be handsome and smart, but a trifle quick tempered.

An August bride will be amiable and practical.

A September bride will be discreet, affable and much liked.

An October bride will be pretty, coquettish, loving but jealous.

A November bride will be liberal, kind, but of a wild disposition.

A December bride will be fond of novelty and entertainment.

And now for those of us in the USA – it is TAX Season, never my favorite time of year.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

William Bassett c. 1600-1667

If there is one thing I discovered about William Bassett it is that his ancestry is still very much in question. Then, to make matters even worse, information on William, the father, and William, the son, have been combined, twisted and confused.  I have found reports stating that the elder Bassett was married four times when, in fact, he was married twice and the son was also married twice. Other reports have William, the son, married to his mother. It has been a struggle trying to decipher who was who, when and where. I can say that I have not found any report or record that states exactly where the elder William Bassett was born. It is not even certain that he is the father of the William Bassett who went to Plymouth in 1621. All circumstantial evidence points to him being the father and it does seem probable, but there is no evidence. Interestingly, the DNA project of the Bassett Family Assoc. show that William, the immigrant, may not have been connected to the Kent, England, Bassetts.

In doing recent research on William Bassett, I have discovered that there are at least four different locations given for his birth. The one I’m using is Sandwich, Kent, England, as it was mentioned in records concerning him while he was in Leiden, Holland. This does not mean this is where he was born, just that he was there before he left for Holland. This William was born about 1575 and was the son of Edward Bassett and Elizabeth Lygon. He married Cecelia Light, Dec 30 1592. Cecelia died in 1606. In 1608, he became involved with the ‘Pilgrim Church’ at Scrooby, near York, England, where they hoped to return to a more pure form of worship, excluding the Pope, and embracing the thinking of the Protestant Reformation. And so, he was among the members of the church who left England to settle in Leiden, Holland. He was to marry again, in 1611, but his intended wife, Mary Butler, died before they could exchange vows. Yet marry again he did, to Margaret Oldham on Aug 13 1611. William was a master mason. He died and was buried Apr 23 1631 at St. Nicholas, Gloucestershire. I believe this shows that he returned to England. It is not generally believed that he went to Plymouth.

William Bassett (1600-1667) left Leiden on the Speedwell, but it proved to be unseaworthy and returned to England. He is believed to be the son of William (1575-1631) and Cecelia Light Bassett. But Robert Charles Anderson in The Great Migration Begins [vol. I, p.130] says that it is "possible" that the William Bassett of Leiden in 1611 was the father of the immigrant to Plymouth in 1621, but there is no evidence directly favoring this hypothesis. William Bassett, the immigrant, arrived in Plymouth, in 1621, on the Fortune.  William married Elizabeth (nee unknown – not Tilden), in 1623 (or before), who may have been a passenger on the Fortune as well. He was a blacksmith and a gunsmith. Blacksmith tools were found within the inventory of his personal goods after his death. It is believed he was a well educated man since many books, some on theology, were found in his inventory, as well. He moved to Duxbury, MA arund 1637. He married a second time to Mary Tilden Lapham in 1651. All of his six children were with his first wife. It is unclear whether she died after the last child was born (c. 1634) or later.  They had six children:

          William          (1624-1670) m. Mary Raynesford – 3 children
          Elizabeth       (1626-1661) m. Thomas Burgess
          *Nathaniel     (1628-1710) m. Dorca Joyce – 10 children
          Sarah                     (1630-1712) m. Peregrine White – 6 children
          Ruth             (1633-c 1693) m. John Sprague
          Joseph         (c 1635-1712) m. Martha Hobart – 7 children

*Nathaniel started out in Duxbury but then moved on to Marshfield (both in Plymouth Colony). Eventually he moved to Yarmouth, located on Cape Cod where he lived until his death, at age 82. He and Dorcas had 10 children:

          Samuel         (c 1672-1760) m. Elizabeth Jones
          Dorcas          (c 1675-1707)
          Nathan         (1677-1723) m. Mary Crowell
          *Hannah       (c 1679-1741) m. Joseph Covell
          Sarah           (c 1689-c 1744) m. John Nickerson
          William          (c 1698-?) m. Martha Godfrey
          Nathaniel      (?-1728) m. Joanna Borden
          Joseph         (?-1750) m. Susanna Howes
          Ruth             (? - ?)
          Mary             (? – 1741) m. Thomas Mulford

                           Red dot indicates location of Yarmouth (pronounced Yah-muth)

*Hannah Bassett m. Joseph Covell, son of Nathaniel Covell and Sarah Nickerson. Nathaniel Covell became an indentured servant of Edward Winslow, of Marshfield in New England, on Apr 18 1653 in Chelmsford, England. Nathaniel arrived in Boston Aug 26 1653 and was assigned to Peregrine White, a step-son of Edward Winslow. Peregrine White is the first English male child born on the Mayflower while it lay at anchor in Cape Cod Bay. Peregrine’s father died in Feb 1621 and his mother, Susannah, married Edward Winslow. Peregrine married Sarah Bassett, d/o William and Elizabeth (unknown) Bassett. Through these marriages the Whites, Bassetts, Winslows, Covells and Nickersons all became inter-related, as the ensuing generations intermarried with each other.

*Hannah Basset and Joseph Covell’s farm was part of William Nickerson’s land and was located on the east side of Muddy Cove. Hannah and Joseph had 8 children:

          Lydia            (1701-?) m. Thomas Nickerson, s/o Thomas and Mary                                       Bangs Nickerson 
          *Sarah          (1705-bef 1790) m. William Nickerson, s/o William and                                        Deliverance Lombard Nickerson
          Constant       (c 1706-1772) m. Ebenezer Nickerson, s/o Thomas and                                      Mary Bangs Nickerson
          James          (c 1709-?) m. Mehitable Nickerson, d/o Samuel and Hannah                                       Hall Nickerson
          Joseph         (1710-?)
          Dorcas         (1714-1803 m. James Nickerson, s/o William and                                               Deliverance Lombard Nickerson
          Hanna          (?-?)
          Nathaniel     (?-?) m. Mary Chase

*Sarah Covell and William Nickerson had 12 children, all born in Chatham, MA:
          Absalom       (1724-?)
          Stephen        (1726-1801)  went to Barrington, NS, Canada
          Deliverance   (1728-1780)
          James           (1730-bef 1781)
          Mercy            (1732-aft 1805)
          *Elizabeth      (1735-1826)  went to Barrington, NS, Canada
          William          (1736-?)
          Lumbart        (1739-?)
          Susanna       (1741-?)
          Joshua          (1743-?)
          Gideon          (1746-?)       went to Barrington, NS, Canada
          Nicholas        (?-?)

At this point, my blog converges with a former blog on the Nickersons. I will just quickly list the remaining generations.

          Sarah and Williams daughter Elizabeth:
          *Elizabeth Nickerson (1735-1826) m. Archelaus Smith (1734-1821).                                            Their son Hezekiah –
          *Hezekiah Smith (1754-1834) m. Abigail Doane (1758-1847)                                                       Their son Stephen
          *Stephen Smith (1786-1870) m. Elizabeth Spinney (1789-1874)
              Their daughter Rachel
          *Rachel Smith (1823-1881) m. Samuel Scarr (1814-?) Their daughter                                        Mary Ellen
          *Mary Ellen Scarr (1854-1913) m. Henry Gordon Carmichael (1850-1910)
              Their daughter Nora
          *Nora Carmichael (1875-1921) m. Jesse Pye (1865-1940)

Nora and Jesse are my grandparents.

Plymouth Colony: Its History and Its People

The Mayflower Descendant: Volume 9 1907

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rumney Marsh Burial Ground

Rumney Marsh Burial Ground

This is a bit off my usual genealogy topic, but I found this so interesting I wanted to share it with everyone. In my early blogger days I had written some articles about Winthrop, MA, my hometown. So, in essence, this is a return trip to my homeland with another historical event that occurred on Aug 28 1926.

The Winthrop Sun Transcript publishes reprints of news items that happened over the last 100+ years, in a “Then and Now” column, by G. David Hubbard of the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association. The event I’m referring to in this blog was a rededication exercise of the Rumney Marsh Burial Ground in Revere, MA. Mr. Frank W. Tucker of Winthrop read the names of the early residents of Pullen Poynte, which is the name Winthrop was known as in its earliest days when it was still part of Chelsea, MA.

Mr. Tucker read aloud the names of:

The Winthrop’s:

Deane Winthrop, d. March 16 1703, on his birthday at age 81 – the youngest son of Gov. John Winthrop. He had been a resident for more than 50 years. {His home is still standing and is the only continuously inhabited wood frame home in the USA. It is the site for many of the town’s social events.}

Capt. Jose Winthrop, d. Nov 15 1702 – the only son of Deane Winthrop to live to
maturity, but died at the age of 36.

Mercy Winthrop Haugh, d. Nov 16 1702 – the daughter of Deane Winthrop and the wife of Atherton Haugh.

Priscilla Adams, d. Nov 4 1702 at the age of 33 – a granddaughter of Deane           Winthrop.

Jotham Grover, d. Aug 5 1685 at the age of 35 – a grandson of Deane Winthrop.

Eiliah (sic.) Adams, d. May 26 1697 – at the age of 9 weeks – a great grandson of Deane Winthrop.

The Belcher’s and the Bill’s:

Jeremiah Belcher, d. Feb 4 1722 – He was a tenant of Judge Sewall on Hog Island and the first of the Belcher family to live in the area.

Joseph Belcher, d. Nov 15 1739 – He was the first Belcher to live at Pullen Poynte and was the husband of Hannah Bill. Hannah was the daughter of Jonathan Bill, who owned one-half of the Winthrop farm in 1720.


John Tewksbury, d. Apr 2 1829 at the age of 81 – His wife was Ann Bill Tewksbury and great-granddaughter of Jonathan Bill.

James Tewksbury, d. Nov 5 1800 at the age of 55 – He was the brother of John.

James Sargent Tewksbury, d. Nov 12 1837 – He was the son of James. He gave to the town the land that is the current site of the Winthrop Town Hall.


Sarah Floyd, d. June 16 1717, at the age of 75 – She was the wife of Capt. John           Floyd and the first of the Floyds to be buried at Rumney Marsh.


Find a Grave photo by Bill Boyington
Photo of Deane Winthrop House by Bill Boyington
Wikipedia – History of Revere