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Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Russells of Woburn, MA

I have long been curious about the Russell family who arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1640. John Russell, Sr. and his wife Elizabeth (nee unknown) settled in the area that had been formerly called Charlestown Village. In May 1640, the residents of Charlestown Village applied for and received additional lands to the west, thus accommodating the growing agricultural needs of the community. It is said that this village changed it’s name to Woburn, in honor of Woburn, England. The curious thing is that Woburn, England is the family seat of the Russell family, the Dukes of Bedford.  The first Earl of Bedford, John Russell, 1547, was given the former Cistercian Monks’ Abbey for his home, now called Woburn Abbey, by King Henry VIII.  From all the sources I have read, I can find no connection between John Russell, immigrant, and the Russell family, Dukes of Bedford.  The relatively close, geographical locations of the two families suggests that there may have been a familial connection but it is not recorded and, if so, is lost to the mists of time.

(First Burial Ground, Woburn, MA)

Over time, the name has seen many variations of spellings, such as: du Rozel, Rossel, Rossell, Rowsell, Rozel, Rusell, Rusels, Russel, Russell, Russells. If you are looking into the Russell family, be sure to include all spellings in your research.

Records show that John Russell married again on May 13 1645 in Woburn MA to Elizabeth Baker.  They had at least one child, Mary Russell, b. 1645/46 in Charlestown, MA. This would suggest that she was born in the area that would become known as Woburn, when the community changed its name.

Mary Russell m. Timothy Brooks, the s/o Henry Brooks and an unknown wife. They moved to Swansea MA with the Baptists and then on to Cohansey NJ. Timothy became a minister and moved to NJ about 1687, where he kept his own congregation. He was known as a sweet and loving man. He and Mary had 12 children. Mary died in 1680 so she didn’t make the move to NJ with her family.

                          (Coles River, Swansea, MA)

Their daughter, Rebecca Brooks, was born about 1679. She married Melatiah Martin, s/o John and Joanna Esten Martin. He was an ordained Deacon in the Second Baptist Church of Swansea, MA. They had 8 children. Descent is through their daughter Keziah Martin and her husband, William Wood.

a.)  Keziah Martin (1697-1753) m. 1716 William Wood (1693-?)
b.)  Hannah Wood (1720-1756) m. 1740 Nathaniel Finney (1720-1809)
c.)  Anne Finney (1747-1804) m. 1766 Benjamin Tower (1744-1804)
d.)  Phebe Elizabeth Tower (1777-1822) m. 1792 Edward Buck (1763-1826)
e.)  George Buck (1798-1878) m. 1820 Phebe Palmer (1801-1881)
f.)   Catherine Buck (1824-1904) m. 1841 Edward Cole (1815-1897)
g.)  Rebecca Cole (1854-1944) m. 1878 Alexander Chambers (1855-1887)
h.)  Alvina Chambers (1880-1970) m. 1901 Patrick John Broderick (1879-1944), my maternal grandparents

Swansea, MA was once a part of Rehoboth, MA, Warren and Barrington RI. Tracing family names is difficult enough without all the town boundary changes and, eventually, state boundary changes. One really needs to read the town histories for the whole area to get a good feel for what was happening from the mid 1600’s-1700’s. After Swansea became established, it was the first town attacked by Metacomet’s (aka King Philip) men in protest over broken treaties.  Most of the town was burned and many chose not to rebuild in Swansea. The area has a great deal of history to absorb. I find it interesting that Swansea has two rivers with names associated with my family. The first, Cole’s River, is named for Hugh Cole, my 7th gt. grandfather and the Palmer River, which I have not yet connected to my family, but hope to do so as research continues.

(Palmers River, Rehoboth, MA)

Another stumbling block for this region is there are so many cemeteries. Most of them are small, family plots that had been associated with a home or farm. Many are overgrown and the stones are difficult to read. I’ve provided a link to the Bristol County Cemetery web site for any who are interested.

An Account of Some of the Descendants of John Russell, The Emigrant, Gurdon Wadsworth Russell, MD, LLD, 1910

A History of Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass., Samuel Sewall, MA, 1868

Historic and Architectural Resources of Barrington, RI, Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Muddle Masses of Inaccurate Reporting

Bowen Family
Bullock Family
Garnzey Family

Richard Bowen’s ancestry is still a highly contested issue. So far, it appears his father might have been Thomas Bowen of Kettle Hill in Wales. Other researchers, far better than I, also claim Richard’s father to be James Bowen. I have tried to puzzle through all the arguments and find myself no closer to any solution. But I do have an opinion.  The Welsh, in accordance with the times, had no surnames. They used a patronymic system which indicated you were the son or daughter of the male adult in the family.  They used the prefixes, ab, ap, verch, and ferch, most commonly, to designate the names of the children in a family.
Thus, a man named Rhys (Rice) would have a son, let’s say John ap Rhys and a daughter, Joan verch Rhys. Eventually, John’s name became Price and the daughter married and changed her name to her husband’s. Another example is ap Harry, which years later became the surname Perry. A name such as ap Richard became Pritchard.  In the same way, ab was used to show a son. The National hero of Wales is Owain Glyndwyr. Many a male child was named Owain or Owen in honor of this man. So a male child of Owen would be ab Owen or eventually, Bowen. There are many variations on the spellings of the surnames that evolved. If you are looking for a Welsh surname, check every possible form of the spelling. They can differ remarkably, even within the same family branch.

This most likely resulted in a large number of people with the surname Bowen who may or may not have been related to each other. They also tended to use the same given names over and over, causing generational and lateral blurring. When there were five sons in a family and they all married and used the same given names for their sons, John, Richard, James, Thomas, William, etc., it all becomes really difficult to determine which John Bowen was the son of which one of the brothers.

Therefore, at this point, I will grant that Richard Bowen was born in Wales, that he immigrated to the colonies and that his father is unknown to me. He was b. about 1590 in Wales, perhaps Glamorganshire, and d. Feb. 4 1675 in Rehoboth, MA. His first wife is unknown, although many claim it was Anne Bourne who was from Swansea, Wales. However this marriage and an elaborate ancestry which was all 19th century fabrication has been debunked, by TAG Vol. 76 p. 263 (2001). It is believed that all of his children were by his first wife. His 2nd wife was Elizabeth (nee unknown) March, widow of George Marsh. Some have said her maiden name was Rey or Key. Richard and his first wife and children were briefly reported to have been in Weymouth before striking out for Rehoboth.

He was present on Jun 21 1644, in Rehoboth, when woodland divisions were granted to 58 men, but no actual date of immigration has been found.

His children were:

          Alice (1620-?) m. Robert Wheaton
          Sarah (1623-bef 1673) m. Robert Fuller
          Thomas (1625-1663) m. Elizabeth Brewster
          Ruth (1627-1688) m. Leverich Kendrick
      2  Obadiah (1627-1710) m. Mary Clifton
          William (1630-?)
          George (1631-1632)
          Richard (1632-?)

2 Obadiah Bowen (1623-1710) m. 1651 Mary Clifton – 15 children
     3   Obadiah (1651-1699) m. 1677 Abigail Bullock
          Mary (1653-1678) m. Isaac Allen
          Sarah (1654-1703) m. 1672 John Savage
          Jacob (1656 -?)
          Rebecca (1657-?)
          Daughter (1658-?)
          *Samuel (1659-1728) m. 1684 Elizabeth Wood
          Joseph (1662-1727 m. 1683 Elizabeth Rounds
          Thomas (1664-1743) m. 1689 Thankful Mason
          *Hannah (1665-1715) m. 1685 Timothy Brooks
          Lydia (1666-1758) m. 1686 Joseph Mason
          Sarah (1668-?) m. 1686 James Abell
          Mercy (1672-young)
          Isaac (1674-1706) m. 1698 Hanna Winchester
          Hezekiah (1678-?)

*Samuel and his family moved to Cohansey, NJ. *Hannah married Rev. Timothy Brooks who moved with some of his congregation to Cohansey, NJ. Both Samuel Bowen and Timothy Brooks died there. Hannah Bowen Brooks is said to have died in Bowentown, NJ.
3 Obadiah and Abigail Bullock Bowen
If the Bowen origins are clouded in the distant past records, then so too are the records of the Bullocks. Abigail’s father is recorded as Richard Bullock of Rehoboth MA, but there ends any certainty. It appears there were several contemporaries by the name of Richard Bullock. The greatest amount of energy has been directed to connecting Richard Bullock to Elizabeth Ingraham, a descendant of Sir Arthur Ingraham. I believe this is driven by Sir Arthur’s connection to Royalty. So far I have found no evidence that will support this. What I have found is vastly inconsistent dates, which makes everything fall apart. So, again on this family name I take the stand of not knowing what is correct so will refrain from offering something that would most likely prove to be incorrect.

Children of Obadiah and Abigail Bullock Bowen:

     4   James (1680-1738) m. 1703 Elizabeth Garnzey
          Hezekiah (1682-1751) m. 1706 Elizabeth Randall
          Mary (1684-?) m. 1710 John Bush
          Elizabeth (1686-?) m. Silas Clark
          Abigail (1688-1710) m.1701 Benjamin Fiske
          Peleg  (?)
          Daniel (1689-1737) m. 1716 Priscilla Vinton
          Aaron (1691-1774) m. 1717 Experience Whitaker
          Sarah (1693-?) m. Martyn Luther
          Nathan (1698-1776) m. Mary Boden

The Garnzey family seems to have originated in Somersetshire, England. Yet after many attempts to get a straight forward idea of when the family arrived in the colonies has only resulted in a head spinning event. From birthdates that had a range of 50 years (for just one person) to one woman living to be 123 years old and another who married both her husband and her son, I have given up on finding anything that is remotely worth reporting on the ancestry of Elizabeth Garnzry.

   4     The children of James and Elizabeth Garnzey Bowen:

          Lydiah (1704-1747) m. 1724 Squire Wheeler
    5    Elizabeth (c.1705-1755) m. 1726 Jonathan Cole
          Obadiah (1706-?) m. c 1731 Barbara Martin
          Tabitha (1710-?) m. c, 1731 Daniel Wheaton
          Mary (1713-?) m. 1733 Thomas Wilbur
          Patience (1716-?)
          Experience (1720-?)
          Abigail (1722-?)

5. Elizabeth Bowen and Jonathan Cole
6. Abigail Martin and Jonathan Cole
7. Margaret Wade and Ebenezer Cole
8. Catherine Buck and Edward Cole
9. Rebecca Cole and Alexander Chambers
10. Alvina Chambers and Patrick John Broderick
                    My grandparents

A History of Rehoboth, Rev. George Tilton, 1918
Find a Grave
Historical Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Ellery Bicknell Crane, Worcester Historical Museum

The Visitation of the county of Somerset in the Year 1623

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Medical Terms found in Death Records

I have encountered many unusual medical terms explaining ‘cause of death.’ Some of them I could figure out but others, I just wasn’t sure of. Obviously many of the same conditions exist today but with all of the modern scientific approaches to medicines they been granted more appropriate and understandable names. I thought it might be helpful for others who are doing their family research for me to list some of the ‘curious’ ones I have come across.  They had heart disease, still born babies. blue babies, TB, diphtheria and even suicides. What I didn’t find much of was measles, scarlet fever or cancer. When I find the death record of an ancestor, it is usually on a page with 25-30 other names. I have chosen some of the more unusual ones from death records in Boston in the 1875-1885 era.

Apoplexy – This appears to be what we today call a stroke.

Cholera Infantum – Infants seemed to be the most effected by this with uncontrollable diarrhea and then collapse. This seemed to be associated with hot weather and large cities.

Compression of Brain – This is apparently when the brain swells after an injury

Congestion of liver – Probably what we know as cirrhosis of the liver

Consumption of Bowels – tuberculosis of the intestinal tract

Inanition – the quality of being empty. I would guess starving, maybe due to not being able to keep food down.

Marasmas – generally a wasting away due to a feeble condition, not really attributed to any specific cause. Saw this recorded for quite a few babies

Mitral Regurgitation – the mitral heart value doesn’t close completely, allowing blood to flow back into the heart, causing the heart to work less efficiently

Paralysing Heart – pretty much what it sounds like – a heart that no longer has any function

Parturition Septicaemia – infection during child birth

Pericarditis – inflammation of the sac around the heat due to either a virus or bacteria, with chest pain

Phthisis Pulmanitis – A wasting away of the lungs, better known as consumption or  tuberculosis

Supperating glands – swollen glands that begin to discharge fluids or pus

Teething – the closest I can find on this is that teething caused severe diarrhea which, in turn, caused debilitation

Traumatic peritonitis – traumatic meaning injury, inflammation of the lining of the abdomen usually caused by bacteria or fungi

Tuberculosis – in general, this disease could effect any organ, where the symptoms might vary but the result would still be the same.

Tubercular Meningitis – An inflammation of the membranes of the brain, in this case      caused by tuberculosis.      

Typhoid – an infectious disease introduced with food or water causing inflammation of mucous membranes, in this case the bowels, and enlargement of the spleen and glands


Merriam Webster Dictionary

Monday, October 6, 2014

Brodericks in the 20th Century

Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick have moved from East Boston to Lynn, MA and are found there in 1892, living at 17 Sea St. The census reports have said they had 8 children but only three of them survived. Their oldest surviving son and child is Patrick John (Jack) Broderick, my grandfather. He was raised in the Catholic Church of the day and attended parochial school in Lynn. When he was old enough, he became a Baggage Master on the B. R.B. and L. railroad, better known as the Narrow Gauge.

Matthew’s younger sister, Catherine Broderick O’Brien, died in 1898 from renal failure. She was living at 17 Hudson St., which today, is in the heart of Chinatown in Boston. She was called a washerwoman.  Of her children, all is that is known is Catherine, the oldest, was living with her mother at the time of her mother’s death. She was a waitress. She married Hermann Dittrich, who was a cook, in Jan. 1899. Sadly, Catherine O’Brien Dittrich died before 1900. No death record can be found for her and nothing more is known of a brother, Martin O’Brien.

1900 – Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick are living at 17 Sea St. in Lynn, MA. The                census states that they adopted Michael O’Brien, age 12, s/o Catherine Broderick                  O’Brien, widow, deceased, Matthew’s sister.

          Patrick Joseph Broderick, s/o Lawrence (deceased) and Catherine Jordan                             Broderick, married Anna L. Murray, from Lowell, MA on Nov. 29 1900, in Hyde Park,             MA.

1901 – Patrick H. Burke s/o Patrick and Mary Broderick Burke, married Mary Agnes                           McGuire, from Steeltown PA, in Hyde Park, MA on Jun 27 1901.

          Patrick John Broderick, s/o Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick, married Alvina             May Chambers from Winthrop, MA, on Nov 1, 1901, in Winthrop, MA.

          Michael H. Burke, s/o Patrick and Mary Broderick Burke, married Catherine Finnerty             on Nov 20 1901 in Hyde Park, MA

1902 – Mary Thelma Burke, d/o Patrick and Mary Agnes McGuire Burke, b. Feb 2 1902 in                Hyde Park, MA.

          Lawrence Francis Broderick, s/o Patrick Joseph and Anna Murray Broderick,                         b. Feb 11 1902 in Hyde Park, MA.

          Marion Alberta Broderick, d/ Patrick John (Jack) and Alvina Chambers Broderick,                   b. Feb 28, 1902, in Winthrop, MA.

1903 – Mary Elizabeth Broderick, d/o Patrick Joseph and Anna Murray Broderick,                            b. Feb 25, 1903 in Hyde Park, MA

          John Edward Burke, s/o Michael and Catherine Finnerty Burke, b. Mar 9 1903 in                   Hyde Park, MA.

          Mary Ellen Broderick, d/o Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick, married Lawrence           (Larry) Keating in Lynn, MA on Oct. 29 1903.

1904 – Margaret Ethel Burke, d/o Patrick H. and Mary Agnes McGuire Burke,  b. Jan. 1904,             in Hyde Park, MA.

          Mary Agnes Keating, d/o Lawrence and Mary Ellen Broderick Keating, b. Dec. 1904,             in Lynn, MA

1905 – Mary Agnes Keating, d/o Lawrence and Mary Ellen Broderick Keating,                                   d. May 16 1905, in Lynn, MA. Death certificate says COD was tubercular                      meningitis.

          Margaret Ethel Burke, d/o Patrick H. and Mary Agnes McGuire Burke,                                     d. Aug 21 1905, in Hyde Park, MA. COD was fermental diarrhea.

          Raymond Eugene Broderick, s/o Patrick Joseph and Anna Murray Broderick,                         b. Oct 24 1905, in Hyde Park, MA.

1906 – Thomas Henry Burke, s/o Michael and Catherine Finnerty Burke, b. Jan 2, 1906 in                  Hyde, Park, MA.

          Regina Stella Burke, d/o Patrick H. and Mary Agnes McGuire Broderick, b. Apr 25                 1906 in Hyde Park, MA.

          Raymond Eugene Broderick, s/o Patrick Joseph and Anna Murray Broderick,                         d. Aug 15, 1906, in Hyde Park, MA. COD on death certificate states meningitis and               whooping cough.
          Ruth Eileen Broderick, d/o Patrick John (Jack) and Alvina Chambers Broderick,                     b. Sep 5 1906, in Winthrop, MA

          Joseph Broderick, s/o Patrick Joseph and Anna Murray Broderick, b. Oct 5 1906 in                Hyde Park, MA.

1907 –

1908 – Agnes May Burke, d/o Patrick and Agnes McGuire Burke, b. May 15 1908 in                         Hyde Park, MA.

1909 – Lawrence Broderick, s/o Lawrence and Catherine Jordan Broderick, married                         Catherine Lehane on Jan 20 1909, in Hyde Park, MA.

          Lillian Adelaide Keating, d/o Larry and Mary Ellen Broderick Keating, b. Apr 10, 1909,           in Lynn, MA

          Edward Joseph Burke, s/o Michael and Catherine Finnerty Burke, b. Jun 24 1909, in             Hyde Park, MA             

          Anna Broderick, d/o Patrick Joseph and Anna Murray Broderick, b. 1909, in Hyde                 Park, MA.

1910 – Mary Broderick, d/o Lawrence and Catherine Lehane Broderick, b. Jan 2 1910, in                Hyde Park, MA

          John Aloysius Broderick, s/o Patrick Joseph and Anna Murray Broderick, b. Jul 27                 1910, in Hyde Park, MA

At the beginning of this decade, when Patrick John (Jack) Broderick married Alvina Chambers, it set into motion circumstances that would last for nearly 100 years. To a devout Irish Catholic family, Jack Broderick did the unthinkable and unforgivable act of marrying outside the Catholic faith.  Alvina Chambers was a Baptist and – according to the church of the day – it was a sin for him to marry her. His mother Bridget Sheehan Broderick disowned him. The family church in Lynn, MA, possibly St. Joseph’s, saw fit to excommunicate him and condemn his soul to hell from the pulpit, one Sunday morning. To the best of anyone’s knowledge he neither saw nor spoke to his mother ever again. While she lived, no other member of the family was known to contact him. Bridget Sheehan Broderick died in 1912 and the family began to mend itself. However, bitterness toward the church remained a big part of my grandfather’s life. His children could have Catholic friends but they must never set foot in a Catholic church. My mother was the second of his three children. We had many long talks about the family and what she remembered. It is my belief that she never knew she had Broderick, Burke and O’Brien cousins. Perhaps they just didn’t keep in touch, since Lynn and Winthrop were a fair distance from Hyde Park. However, I also believe that my grandfather put all his Hyde Park relatives in a closet and shut the door, since it’s fairly certain he never mentioned them. His father, sister and her family all became frequent visitors to Jack’s home but it’s fairly certain that his younger brother Lawrence never reconciled with him. My mother knew very little about him, only that he lived in Lynn. I’m not sure she ever met him. It wasn’t until the 1990’s when I spent some time at the MA Archives that I discovered my grandfather was not the oldest child in his family. This self-inflicted brick wall of my gt. grandmother’s, beginning in 1901, was finally torn down.

Broderick Graves in Winthrop MA

As always, I would be delighted to hear from anyone who is connected to any of the people mentioned in the Broderick blogs.

Census records 1900 and 1910
Birth and Death Records and Certificates
Marriage Records
City Directories
Cemetery Records
American Medicine, Vol. 7, p. 738, 1904

And an apology – it was noted after the fact that my sources didn’t get attached to my previous blog on the Brodericks. They were:

Census records 1900
Birth and Death Records and Certificates
Marriage Records

Cemetery Records

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Broderick Family’s 2nd decade as immigrants

At the end of the 1870’s, major changes had happened to the family. Lawrence had lost his life in a foolish dispute fueled by alcohol and had been buried in Mount Calvary Cem., in Hyde Park, MA. His wife Catherine Jordan Broderick was left with three small children, ages 4, 2 and 6 months. This must have been a difficult time for her as I’m sure there was no insurance payment to help smooth the way.  However, the 1880 census shows that the Broderick matriarch had immigrated and was now living with her dead son’s family. Unfortunately, this census doesn’t give the year of immigration so there is no way to be sure which of the many Catherine Brodericks, who entered the country, she is. It also shows that living in this household is a Catherine Fitzgerald who was 69 and a town pauper. Perhaps she received some stipend from the town to care for this woman. Catherine Jordan Broderick was employed at a hair factory, which doesn’t sound like a pleasant place to be.

So in:

1880 – Catherine Boyle Broderick is living with her daughter-in-law, Catherine Jordan                        Broderick and her children, in Hyde Park, MA.

          Matthew and Bridget Broderick were living at 211 Everett St. in East Boston, MA. He             was a railroad worker.

          Catherine Broderick and Michael O’Brien were living at 164 Everett St., East Boston,             MA. Michael was a laborer.

          Mary Broderick and Patrick O’Brien were living in Hyde Park. He was a stone mason.

          Mary Broderick O’Brien d. Aug. 10, 1880, from dysentery. She was buried in Mount              Calvary Cem., Hyde Park, MA. She left behind her husband and 6 sons.

          At the end of the year, 1880, of the five Broderick siblings who had immigrated, only             three were still living, the oldest, Michael, and the two youngest, Matthew and                       Catherine Broderick O’Brien. Nothing much has been found about Michael.

1881 – Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick were living on Homer St., East Boston, MA

          Patrick J. O’Brien, son of Catherine Broderick and Michael O’Brien was b. in April                 1881.

          Mary Ellen Broderick, daughter of Matthew and Bridgeet Sheehan Broderick was b.               May 10, 1881, in East Boston.

          Matthew Broderick, son of Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick  d. Aug. 13 1881             from dysentery, in East Boston. He was buried in Mt. Calvary Cem., Hyde Park, MA.

          Michael Broderick purchased a cemetery plot in Mt. Calvary, Hyde Park, MA and had           his brother, Lawrence, moved to the new location. Dec. 22 1881

                                                Part of downtown Hyde Park, MA

1882 –
1883 –

1884 – Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick were living at 653 Saratoga St., East                        Boston, MA.

          Catherine Broderick, daughter of Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick was b.                 Sep 22 1884 and she d. Sep. 24, 1884 from pulmonary collapse. She was buried in               Mt. Calvary Cem., Hyde Park, MA.

1885 - Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick were living at 621 Saratoga St., East                       Boston, MA

          Catherine Boyle Broderick d. Jul 10 1885, at age 67, from pericarditis, in Hyde Park,              MA. She was buried with her son Lawrence in Mt. Calvary Cem. Hyde Park, MA.

          Katie, daughter of Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick was b. Dec. 27, 1885 and           d. Dec 28 1885 of cyanosis, in East Boston MA. She was buried with her sister and               brother in Mt. Calvary Cem., Hyde Park, MA.

1886 – Martin O’Brien was b. Dec 14 1886 in Boston, MA.

1887 – Lawrence Joseph Broderick b. Jan 3 1887 at 621 Saratoga St., East Boston, MA. He             was the son of Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick.

1888 – Michael O’Brien b. Jun 17 1888 in Charlestown, MA. He was the son of Michael and              Catherine Broderick O’Brien.

          Michael O’Brien (Sr.) d. Sep 11, 1888 of peritonitis. He was living at 1204 Tremont                 St., Boston MA at the time of his death.

                                                 East Boston, MA  Piers Park

At this point all known facts for this decade come to an end. Since there is no 1890 Federal census to refer to, the movements of the family are unknown until 1892 when we find Matthew and Bridget Sheehan Broderick living at 17 Sea St. in Lynn, MA and they remained there until 1899.  We do know that Matthew continued to work for the railroad and became an engineer in charge of laying out the tracks for the B. R. B. & L. (Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn) railroad as it made a loop through Winthrop. It is also known that my grandfather Patrick John Broderick, who used the name Jack, attended a parochial school associated with St. Joseph’s Church in Lynn, MA. Sometime after his brother Lawrence was b. in 1887, they moved from East Boston to Lynn.

                                                   Overhead view of Lynn, MA

At the end of the 1890’s comes the personal brick wall established by my gt. grandmother Bridget Sheehan Broderick. It has taken the better part of 30 years to unfold the information presented in this and the first blog, on this family.

Suffice it to say, the turn of the century brought out hard feelings that lasted for many years.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Broderick Family Timeline 1870-1880

My Irish immigrant family has long been an enigma. Not only are there brick walls created by time, distance and availability of records, but there are personal brick walls as well. Over the last 10 – 15 years, little by little, some of the personal brick walls have been chipped away. I use the word “personal” for want of a better way to describe something that was caused by an earlier member of the family for religious reasons. But I get ahead of myself. I’ll start with what is known and hope that it might generate new and different avenues of research.

In or near Loughrea, Galway, Ireland there were several families of Brodericks. There is currently no information, that I’ve been able to find, as to whether or not they were related. They all had the same given names, which only adds to the confusion. However, it is believed that a Patrick Broderick married Hanora Martin and that one of their offspring was a son, another Patrick Broderick. This Patrick married Catherine Boyle, daughter of Joseph and Catherine Boyle. Nothing has been discovered yet about this Boyle family. It is uncertain if they came from Galway.

Patrick and Catherine had 9 children, according to baptism records.  Five of those children immigrated to the USA, but apparently not all at the same time.  One of their children died young but there seems to be no information on the remaining children - John, Bridget and James. Four of them ended up in Hyde Park MA, a bastion of Irish immigrants. It seems likely that they settled there because other relatives lived there also, but no proof of this theory has been found. There were other Brodericks in Hyde Park, so anything is possible.

The eldest was Michael and he seems to have taken up residence in Boston and was living in Cambridge when he died in 1909. No marriage information has been found and his death certificate stated he was single.

Lawrence, Mary, Matthew and Catherine Broderick also immigrated, at different times, but settled in Hyde Park MAl. All four were settled there by 1870 and the following time line shows how the decade from 1870-1880 unfolded for them. Except where noted, all events take place in Hyde Park MA.

                                Broderick family
                                        1870 – 1880

As 1870 began:

1870 – Lawrence Broderick living at Hyde Park MA with his cousin Michael Jordan.                           Lawrence was a laborer in the census.

1871 – A quiet year

1872 - Lawrence Broderick married Catherine Jordan, his cousin, Apr 30 1872

           Mary Broderick married Patrick Burke, Aug 22 1872

1873 – John Edward Burke (s/o Mary Broderick and Patrick Burke), b. Jun 1, 1873

1874 – Patrick H. Burke (s/o Mary Broderick and Patrick Burke), b. Jun 13 1874

            Mathew Broderick married Bridget Sheehan, Sep 3 1874

1875 – Patrick Broderick (s/o Bridget Sheehan and Matthew Broderick), b. Jun 22 1875

           Michael Burke (s/o Mary Broderick and Patrick Burke), b. Aug 5 1875

           Patrick Broderick (s/o Bridget Sheehan and Matthew Broderick), d. Aug 7                      1875 COD Cholera

           Catherine Broderick (d/o Catherine Jordan and Lawrence Broderick), b. 1875

           Catherine Broderick married Michael O’Brien Oct 12 1875

1876 – Martin Burke (s/o Mary Broderick and Patrick Burke), b. Aug 1876

           Matthew Broderick (s/o Bridget Sheehan and Matthew Broderick), b. Sep 28 1876

1877 – Patrick Joseph Broderick (s/o Catherine Jordan and Lawrence Broderick),                             b. Mar 18 1877

          Edward Burke (s/o Mary Broderick and Patrick O’Brien), b. Sep 1877

          Catherine O’Brien (d/o Catherine Broderick and Michael O’Brien), b. 1877

1878 – Another quiet year

1879 – Patrick John Broderick (s/o Bridget Sheehan and Matthew Broderick),                                     b. Feb 23 1879, in Dorchester MA

          Lawrence Broderick (s/o Catherine Jordan and Lawrence Broderick), b. Feb 25 1879

          Thomas Burke (s/o Mary Broderick and Patrick Burke), b. Dec 9 1879

          Lawrence Broderick (Sr.) d. Aug 26 1879 COD Traumatic peritonitis

          Matthew Broderick was living on Marston Ave. in Dorchester MA at the time of his                 son’s birth and was working for the Railroad.

          Lawrence Broderick, at the time of his death, was also working for the Railroad.

Over the course of ten years, all four Broderick immigrants were married. Mary Broderick Burke gave birth to six boys. Matthew and Bridget Broderick had three boys, but the oldest son died. Catherine Broderick O’Brien had one daughter. Lawrence and Catherine Broderick had three children.

Lawrence Broderick met his untimely end, suddenly, on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 1879, in the evening, Lawrence went to a boot repair shop to check on his boots. An altercation ensued between Lawrence and Mrs. Margaret Gibbons, the owner’s wife. Witnesses stated that both parties had been drinking. Mrs. Gibbons apparently said something Mr. Broderick took offense to and he slapped her. She retaliated by grabbing a shoe knife and then lunging at him, stabbing him in the abdomen. She also lunged at his nose, slicing it and the upper lip to the bone. Lawrence staggered out and was then carried to his home at the corner of Central Park Ave. and Winter St. He was attended by a physician who stated that the wound would most likely be fatal. The Chief of Police arrested Mrs. Gibbons who didn’t deny the attack and stated she wished she had struck his heart.
Boston Journal – Wed., Aug. 20 1879

The hearing that was held brought forth several conflicting stories. Mrs. Gibbons maintained that she was struck 2 or 3 times and that the knife was not hers. She claimed she acted in self defense. Broderick claimed he never struck her. Mrs. Gibbons couldn’t post bail so was held over in the Dedham jail for Grand Jury in September. Lawrence Broderick was still alive but in poor condition.
Boston Journal – Sat., Aug. 23 1879

Lawrence Broderick died Tues., Aug 26, 1879. Mrs. Gibbons was still being held in the Dedham jail and the Medical Examiner will hold an inquest.
Worcester Daily Spy – Wed., Aug 27 1879

The autopsy of Lawrence Broderick showed that his small intestine had been punctured by a knife and the resulting infection led to the man’s death.
Boston Journal – Aug., 27 1879

Margaret Gibbons was acquitted of the charge of manslaughter in the Broderick case. In Sept 1880, Margaret Gibbons was found guilty of assault on a Mr. Kelly and was sentenced to two years in the house of corrections.
Boston Daily Advertiser – Wed., Sept. 15, 1880

Census Records
Birth, Death and Marriage Records
Boston Journal
Worcester Daily Spy

Boston Daily Advertiser
Memorials of Hyde Park

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ebenezer Martin and Abigail Wheeler

Ebenezer Martin and Abigail Wheeler

    2       Ebenezer (1685 – 1727)  m. Abigail Wheeler (1690-?) – 5 children

                     a.  Jemimah (1717-?)
                    b.  John (1718-1801) m. Mary Reed
                    c.  Ebenezer (1721-1769) m. Mary Bowen
                    d.  Nathaniel (1722-1803) m. Susannah Kent
             3      e.  Abigail (1725-1814) m1. William Esterbrooks
                                                  m2. Jonathan Cole

Abigail Wheeler was the d/o James and Grizell Squire Wheeler. She was b. in Swansea MA and, after her marriage to Ebenezer, settled on the Martin farm in Barrington RI. When Ebenezer died in 1727, Abigail was left with a young family, the oldest just 10, so in 1728, she married John West (1679-?). Not much has been learned about John West. He and Abigail Wheeler Martin West had at least two daughters, Grizell and Elizabeth.

Ebenezer and Abigail’s oldest daughter, Jemimah, seems to have some conflict in information that I haven’t been able to untangle. I have found two totally different marriages for her and can’t verify either of them. If they are a first and second marriage, then Jemimah had nearly 20 children. But dates don’t hold up under scrutiny so rather than pass on unreliable information, I will leave her for another research project.

For sons, John and Ebenezer, I have not been able to locate names of children and I found three daughters and three sons for Nathaniel.  Abigail Martin first married William Esterbrooks and had three children. When William died, she married Jonathan Cole, her brother-in-law. Jonathan had been married to Abigail’s half sister, Elizabeth West. Jonathan and Elizabeth had two sons, James and Edward. James and Edward returned to the colonies when the fight for independence began. James was captured and held prisoner on a British ship in Boston harbor. He was later awarded land for his service. He died in Niagara Co., NY, in 1828. Edward joined Eddy’s Rebels and was later reported deceased by Jonathan Eddy. James married Jerusha Alverson, a cousin to Jeremiah Alverson in the next paragraph.

It is believed that one of Abigail’s Esterbrooks children died young and the other two, William and Grizell, moved to Sackville, New Brunswick in the 1760’s.  William became well known in the area and Grizell married a man, Jeremiah Alverson, who had also moved to NB from the colonies. Grizell and Jeremiah eventually moved to Poughkeepsie NY.

So the marriage of Abigail Martin Esterbrooks to Jonathan Cole was truly a blended family, his, hers, and then theirs.  Interesting that we are seeing this same trend today and think it’s new. Divorce may be the reason today, but early death of one spouse or the other, in the 1700’s, created the same situation. History does repeat itself.

Jonathan Cole and Abigail Martin Cole are my 4x gt. grandparents. This family has been written about in an earlier blog, so will not present it again. There has been no new information concerning this descent so until something new does come to light, I will leave it as it is.

Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island, Beers & Co., 1908,        p. 381

* I had hoped to post a map of the Swansea/Rehoboth/Barrington area to allow some perspective on the proximity of each to the other. However, I was unsuccessful with the download. My apologies.

Monday, July 21, 2014

John Martyn 1634-1713

Swansea, MA, located in the most southwesterly corner of MA bordering Mt. Hope Bay and Rhode Island, was home to at least six of my male ancestors. I find that extraordinary, given the logistics of travel in the late 1600’s. Although they were not related to each other, originally, the families did intermarry over the years, thus creating six lines of ancestry back to this picturesque town. It is in Swansea that the first English blood was shed, in King Philip’s War,’ on Sunday, Jun 20 1675. Over half the homes were burned to the ground while everyone was at church. This is where John Martyn/Martin lived and his house was one that burned that day. He was the 15th signer admitted to the town when Swansea was incorporated in 1669 and therefore one of the original settlers.

John Martyn was the son of Edward Martin and Judith Upham, born in Ottery, St. Mary, Devonshire.  He came from England in 1663, settling in that part of Rehoboth, later called Swansea, and was one of the founders of the Baptist Church there.  He was a weaver, by trade, and a farmer. He was appointed constable, June 6, 1671, surveyor of highways, June 3, 1673, and June 2, 1685. In 1673 he bought land on New Meadow Neck, near Hundred Acre Cove, and built a house north of Central Bridge.  He died March 21,1713-14, aged eighty years and is buried in the Tyler Point Cemetery, Barrington, Bristol Co., RI.

He married, April 26, 1671, Joanna Esten, b. June 1, 1645, in Herefordshire, Eng., daughter of Thomas Esten, who came with Rev. John Myles from Eng. to Rehoboth, and settled at North Providence.

1   John and Joanna (Esten) Martin had 10 children:

          a  Jemima (1672 - ?) m. Samuel Salisbury (1666-1757)
          b  Melatiah (1673 – 1761) m. Rebecca Brooks (1679-1730) – 8 children
          c  John (1674 – 1757) m.  Mercy Hayward (1678-1610) – 8 children
          d  Ephraim (1677 – 1734) m. Thankful Bullock (1681-1762) – 10 children
          e  Ann (1678 – 1759) m. Richard Round
          f  Robert (1679 - ?)
          g  Manasseh (1681 – 1754) m. Hannah Carpenter
          h  Johanna (1683 – 1715) m. Phillip Short – 2 children
    2    i  Ebenezer (1685 – 1727)  m. Abigail Wheeler (1690-?) – 5 children
          j  Judith (1686 – 1751) m. John Luther

At Find a Grave, I discovered a great deal of interesting information. I have not verified this as much of it comes from siblings of Ebenezer Martin, who is my direct ancestor.  I am providing it here so that you may do your own research to verify these claims.

John Martin is:

2x great grandfather of Simeon Martin, Gov. of RI
4x great grandfather of Alexander Hamilton Bullock, Gov. of MA
4x great grandfather of John William Davis, Gov. of RI (once through Melatiah                         and once through John)
5x great grandfather of Cornelius Newton Bliss, US Sec. of the Interior                                    (1897-1899)
6x great grandfather of Nelson Ackerman Eddy, singer, actor
6x great grandfather of Prescott Sheldon Bush, US Senator from CT
6x great grandfather of James Grover Thurber, author, cartoonist
7x great grandfather of George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st US President
7x great grandfather of Gene Roddenberry, sci-fi screenwriter and producer                            (through his daughter Jemima)
7x great grandfather of Perkins Bass, US Congressman from NH
7x great grandfather of Spalding Rockwell Gray, actor, screenwriter, performer,                       playwright (once through son Melatiah and once through son                              Ephraim)
7x great grandfather of William Standish Knowles, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry                     (2001)
8x great grandfather of George Walker Bush, Gov. of TX and 43rd US President
8x great grandfather of John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, Gov. of FL
8x great grandfather of Bobby Darin, singer, songwriter, actor
8x great grandfather of Gene Roddenberry, sci-fi screenwriter and producer                            (once through his son Melatiah)
8x great grandfather of Charles Foster Bass, US Congressman from NH
8x great grandfather of Marshall Field V, newspaper publisher                                                 (Chicago Sun-Times)
9x great grandfather of John James “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr., US Congressman from                     TN

Encyclopedia of Biography
Find A Grave
History of Swansea, Massachusetts, Otis Olney Wright, 1917