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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Nicholas Snow Descendant

Edward Rowe Snow was born August 22 1902 in Winthrop MA. He was the third son of Edward Sumpter Snow and Alice Rowe Snow. His two older brothers were Winthrop and Nicholas Hopkins Snow and his younger brother was Donald Snow. At the time of his birth, they were living at 16 Cottage Ave.,  on Cottage Hill. From this hill, you could look north across Winthrop Beach to Nahant or you could look south along the Point Shirley stretch to Deer Island. To the west and south west was Boston Harbor, Crystal Cove, Belle Isle Marsh and East Boston.

He was literally within an easy walk of salt water in almost every direction. His grandmother, Caroline Rowe lived with them as well. She was a 58 year old widow in the 1900 census and at age 78 was still living with the family in the 1920 census.

By the 1930 census, only the two younger sons were still living at home and Caroline is no longer listed. His other grandmother, Lucy A. Snow had lived at 62 Beacon St., not far from their home on Cottage Hill. She died in Apr. 1912 of Bronchitis and is buried in Rockland ME. His father was a Commission Merchant in 1900. His mother, Alice, was barely 5 feet tall yet all four of her sons reached the height of 6’+. She had an extraordinary influence on her son, Edward. She had spent her childhood and youth on board a ship, the barq Russell (and probably others over the years) and had stories to tell of adventures around the world. Her father, Joshua N. Rowe, was a Master Mariner and plied the oceans making his living.

Edward Rowe Snow graduated from Harvard and with a Master’s degree, from Boston University. He taught high school in Winthrop for a few years, during which time my oldest cousin was one of his students. During WWII, he served in the Army Air Force  XII Bomber Command. Mr. Snow became known for a variety of reasons. Besides being a teacher, he was a historian, preservationist, lecturer, chronicler, writer, and storyteller. He hosted his own radio program, wrote a column for the Patriot Ledger, a newspaper in Quincy MA, and in 1936 began helping the Flying Santa Program, which he continued to do until the 1970’s. He is credited with being one of the leading personalities in saving Fort Warren, a Civil War era fort, on Georges Island, in Boston Harbor.

He inherited his love of the sea from the many sea captains in his father’s Snow family and from his mother’s extraordinary experiences with her seafaring father.  He was the author of 100+ publications. Many of his books centered in and on  New England, the islands, shipwrecks, pirates, lighthouses and storms. His books are a cornucopia of New England life from some of its earliest days to the 20th century. I have read as many of them as I can find and I still marvel at this man’s bravery. Not many would tackle the ocean in a canoe, paddle through ice, dive from lighthouses or walk thousands of miles throughout New England, but he did all of them. In the Aug. 2, 2012 edition of The Winthrop Sun Transcript, Tink Martin noted a piece of historical news, “This week in 1959 Edward Rowe Snow completed an 800 mile walk from St. John, New Brunswick to Boston.” He also walked all over Cape Cod, keeping a journal of all he saw and those he spoke to. He died in 1982 and is buried in Marshfield MA.

Edward Rowe Snow was a Stephen Hopkins descendant, through Nicholas Snow, and so am I.  I’ve been doing some serious research trying to find out how his family connected back to Nicholas. Little did I know there were a gazillion Snows in Maine. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Through a process of elimination and a whole lot of determination, I came up with an answer.  Much of the early Snow pedigree is firmly documented by the Mayflower Society. Those generations are:

Nicholas Snow and Constance Hopkins
John Snow and Mary Smalley
John Snow and Elizabeth Ridley
Isaac Snow and Apphia Atwood (This couple removed to ME from Truro MA)

Generations born in ME:

For his father:
Elisha Snow and Betsey Jordan (s/o above Isaac and Apphia)
Elisha Snow and Nancy McKown (2nd wife)
Larkin Snow and Alice Small
George L. Snow and Lucy Ann Snow
Edward Sumpter Snow and Alice Rowe

For his mother:
Robert Snow and Susannah Mingerson (Bro. of 1st Elisha)
Israel Snow and Lucy Woodbury Thorndyke
Lucy Ann Snow and George L. Snow (They were 2nd cousins)
Edward Sumpter Snow and Alice Rowe

My connection back to Nicholas Snow makes Edward Rowe Snow and I, 8th cousins 1x removed.

For anyone wishing to pursue their own research in ME, the Snows lived in and around Rockland, Thomaston and South Thomaston and earlier in Brunswick,  Harpswell and St. George. Later some moved to Bangor. 

There is a memorial to him in Marshfield, where he and his wife and daughter lived, and a small tribute to him in Winthrop at the base of Cottage Hill at Beacon Circle, across the street from where Lucy Snow, his grandmother, lived when she died.

American Family Antiquity, Albert Wells, Society Library, 1881
1850, 1860, 1870 1880 Census Rockland Maine
1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 Census Winthrop MA
Lucy A. Snow Death Certificate


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