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  • 2004 Archive

  • Vol. 6, No. 2
    Whole #148
    January 9, 2004

    Edited by Lynn Betlock and Rod D. Moody 

    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This free newsletter has been sent to NEHGS members and friends who have subscribed to it, or submitted their email addresses on various membership and sales department forms and website notices. NEHGS recognizes the importance of its members' privacy, and will not give away, sell or lease personal information. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email address, please click on the link at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions provided.

    © Copyright 2004, New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116 Contents:

    • New Databases on
    • Volume 13, Number 1 of the Great Migration Newsletter Online Available to Subscribers
    • New Research Article on
    • A Preview of the January Register
    • Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library
    • An Introduction to at the NEHGS Library
    • Take the New NEHGS Survey!
    • Calling All Riveting "Rosies" (and Descendants) — Ford Wants You!
    • "Family Registers: Genealogical Decorative Art"
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information


    New Databases on

    Early Residents of Kent, Connecticut, 1769–1800

    According to the original typescript, these records were "copied from an old account book at the Botsford home, Botsford Road and Housatonic Highway. Now the home of Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Peet Sr."

    Information includes name of individual and, in some instances, a date next to the name. It can be presumed that the date indicates when a transaction was made, thus placing an individual in Kent on that date. At the end of the transcription is a brief family record of the Botsford and Mills families.

    The town of Kent, in Litchfield County, was established in 1739.

    Search Early Residents of Kent, Connecticut, 1769–1800, at

    Records of the Town of Tisbury, Massachusetts, 1669–1864

    The town of Tisbury, in Dukes County, was established in 1671. This book of town records was compiled in 1903 by William S. Swift (who was Tisbury's town clerk at the time) and his assistant, Jennie W. Cleveland.

    Search Records of the Town of Tisbury, Massachusetts, 1669–1864 at

    Family Genealogy: History and Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster Family of Connecticut

    This genealogy was compiled by William Holcomb Webster and Reverend Melville Reuben Webster. It was published in 1915.

    John Webster, of Warwickshire, England, came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony between 1630 and 1633. He removed from Newtowne (now Cambridge) Massachusetts, to the present site of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1636, presumably with the Reverend Thomas Hooker and his historic party.

    Webster became one of the original proprietors of Hartford, and one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut. After serving in the general court of the Colony of Connecticut and the United Colonies of New England he was elected governor of the Colony of Connecticut in 1655. In 1657 John Winthrop succeeded him as governor, and John Webster became chief magistrate.

    Search the Webster genealogy at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions of cemeteries at Harpswell Center and West Harpswell, in Cumberland County, Maine.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    Allegations for Marriage Licenses issued by the Commissary Court of Surrey [England] between 1673–1770

    The information in this volume was transcribed from the original records and edited by Alfred Ridley Bax in 1907. Marriage allegations are sworn statements made in an application for a marriage license. These records include names of individuals, places of residence, occupations, ages, and "name of the place or places where the marriage may be celebrated." Some records include name(s) of parent or parents and name of surety (a person or persons who provided the money for the couple to buy a marriage bond — the bond was required if the couple wanted to marry within four months of the intention announcement).

    In a previous publication, Surrey Archaeological Society Collections, Bax had included a number of licenses granted for various purposes that were found among Surrey wills in Somerset House (until recently the archive in which public records were held). He later discovered that additional documents of the Commissary Court of Surrey were held by the registrar of the faculty office, who was previously the registrar of that court.

    Following the allegations of 1662 to 1665, there is a gap until 1673, and again until 1691/2. After this year none are known to exist until the year 1724, except one single allegation for 1709. From 1724 the records are continuous until the present day.

    Search Allegations for Marriage Licenses issued by the Commissary Court of Surrey between 1673–1770 at


    Master Search

    Master search all databases at
    < all database a>.

    Volume 13, Number 1 of the Great Migration Newsletter Online Available to Subscribers

    Great Migration Newsletter Online subscribers may now access the first issue of Volume 13 on Subscribers to past volumes of the online newsletter must now renew their subscriptions in order to view this new issue and the Newsletter archives, which contain the past two online volumes as well as hundreds of biographical sketches.

    In this issue's editorial, Great Migration editor Robert C. Anderson introduces the "Focus" of the new issue.

    "We have always felt an affinity with the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary [OED]. There are strong parallels between the lexicographer slogging through the alphabet word after word, and the prosopographically inclined genealogist similarly plodding through the alphabet immigrant after immigrant.

    "In his recent history of the compilation of the OED, Simon Winchester devotes an entire chapter to the many people who assisted the compilers of that dictionary, in so many ways [The Meaning of Everything (Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 186-215]. While our project is not nearly so big as the OED, and we do not have nearly as many volunteers and other contributors, we are blessed with many individuals who are highly interested in our work, and who show that interest in many positive ways.

    "In the front matter of each Great Migration volume, we list those persons who have made a substantial contribution to that volume. But there are others who add a bit here and there who are also important. A recent happy occurrence may demonstrate this aspect of the project.

    "In Volume Six of The Great Migration Newsletter, we prepared a Focus section on New Haven, which included an analysis of a list of early estates, attempting to date that list [GMN 6:164-65]. A few months ago Pat Hatcher (who in the same volume of the Newsletter had published her own analysis of a Roxbury church list) pointed out a possible problem in the New Haven analysis.

    "Consequently, we scheduled a trip to Hartford to examine the original of the New Haven list of estates, as a result of which we found a few minor items which would slightly alter our analysis.

    "Then, quite by accident, we were discussing the problem with Harlan Jessup, a Connecticut professional, who asked if we had seen the 'Book of Alienations,' which so far as he knew was only available at Yale University Library and the New Haven Colony Historical Society. Within an hour, we were in New Haven, and the Focus section herein resulted."

    Also included in this issue is a study of how the Small Sketches included in the Great Migration volumes are produced. This type of sketch, reserved for "transients, or persons who are otherwise poorly recorded," are, according to Mr. Anderson, "nevertheless quite important in the overall prosecution of the Great Migration Study Project, inasmuch as they provide the data on the most obscure segment of the population, and thus, when combined with the other two types of sketch, give us as full a picture as possible of the whole migration process."

    And, as always, the issue includes reviews of Recent Literature and Mr. Anderson's editorial.

    NEHGS members may subscribe to Volume 13 now and receive access to four issues to be posted on a quarterly basis, biographical sketches available only to online subscribers, and access to the Great Migration Newsletter Online archive, which contains all of the issues of Volume 11 and 12, plus the bonus sketches from 2002 and 2003. All of this can be yours for only $10 per year!

    Subscribers to the Great Migration Newsletter Online may access the new issue by visiting

    To subscribe to the Great Migration Newsletter Online go to

    To subscribe to the print version of the Great Migration Newsletter, please visit

    New Research Article on

    New York
    The Brown Tract
    By Dr. Marian S. Henry

    In 1798, John Brown, of Providence, Rhode Island, acquired 210,000 acres of land in upstate New York. This became known as the "Brown Tract." The majority of this tract (167,000 acres) is located in present-day Herkimer County. The rest is in Lewis County (40,000 acres) and Hamilton County (3000 acres). At a time when settlers poured into the state, fueling an enormous population boom, three generations of the Brown family failed utterly in their attempts to develop their "wild lands." In this article we look at the history of John Brown's tract to discover why your New York ancestors probably chose some other region of the state in which to settle.

    Read the full article at

    A Preview of the January Register
    This issue starts with an article showing that ancestors do have reasons for naming their children. In Double Davenports: Descendants of James and Mary (Walker) Davenport of Boston, they named two sons Addington Davenport for Mary’s uncle, a prominent judge named Addington Davenport. Prior researchers had not realized that Mary’s mother was also a Davenport. The Bennett Franklin Davenport Papers at NEHGS were the basis of the research by authors Doris and David Willcox.

    Hannah (Raymond) Standley and Her Mother, Deborah Trask, of Beverly, Massachusetts, is a classic case of illegitimacy. Fortunately, Deborah Trask left good records identifying her daughter and grandchildren.

    A Brother Found: A Clue to the Ancestry of Mary (Barrett) Dyer, The Quaker Martyr, shows that Mary had a brother William Barret(t) who died unmarried in or before 1633. This important discovery will shape further research on Mary’s ancestry.

    Daniel and Tryphosa Tarr appeared in Newburyport by 1806, but he could not be placed in the Tarr family of Essex County. It turned out they were both from Maine and were Daniel and Tryphosa (Hadlock) Tarr of Mount Desert, Maine, and Newburyport, Massachusetts.

    In Isaac Buswell and Rebecca (Buswell) of Husbands Bosworth, co. Leicester, and New England, author Neil Thompson documents the known English ancestry of Isaac Buswell of Salisbury, Massachusetts, and his sister Rebecca (Buswell) Smith of Wethersfield, Connecticut. Their first cousin of the half blood was a baronet, an unusual but not unique connection for New England settlers.

    Dan and Jemima (Alexander) Freeman of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and Some of Their Descendants continues with an account of their son, Dan Freeman, and his twelve children. Dan moved to Otsego County, New York, and married again, but his children (all by his first wife) remained in central Massachusetts.

    In 1976 The English Origin of Matthew Gannett of Scituate, Massachusetts, was revealed as Charlton Mackrell, Somerset. Robert Charles Anderson carefully reviews the available evidence and makes suggestions for possible future research.

    The Journal of Jonathan Willis: Extracts from the Diary of a Boston Housewright, 1744–1747 continues with the diarist’s calling on sick neighbors, attending funerals, and worrying about an outbreak of smallpox. Although his spelling is often phonetic, it is entirely understandable, even the imaginative spelling of “phelidellphiah.”

    The Family Record of Ezra and Elizabeth (Campbell) Leonard of Raynham and Oakham, Massachusetts was found in the Revolutionary War pension file of Ezra Leonard. A compiled account of this family had attributed to them a son William who is not included in this family record.

    We conclude John and Elizabeth (James) Hyland of Scituate, Massachusetts, and Some of Their Descendants with their four youngest children. Typically, some spouses are easily identifiable from published genealogies, vital records, and Mayflower Families Through Five Generations — while others are just a name. In the case of Mary Hooper, wife of William3 Hyland, author Marya Myers devotes half a page of analysis to show who her parents were.

    Henry B. Hoff

    Upcoming "Genealogy in a Nutshell" Lectures at the NEHGS Library

    The 2004 "Genealogy in a Nutshell" series continues with:

    • "Beyond the Death Record: Linking Related Records" by David Lambert on Saturday, January 10

    • "Using DNA to Unravel Genealogical Mysteries" by Christopher Child on Wednesday, January 14 and Saturday, January 17

    • "Clues and Context: What Social History Can Tell You About Your Family History" by Jean Maguire on Wednesday, January 21 and Saturday, January 24

    All lectures take place at 10 a.m. Advance registration is not necessary.

    For more details about NEHGS education events, please visit < main a>. If you have questions, please call Member Services at 1-888-296-3447 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

    An Introduction to at the NEHGS Library

    January 14, 11:30 a.m.

    Learn how to use the NEHGS website to advance your research! In this free class, NEHGS content delivery specialist Darrin McGlinn will offer a step-by-step live demonstration of the Society's website, This class gives participants the opportunity to explore the site in depth, ask questions, and become more comfortable using a constantly growing number of online databases and research tools.

    This program will be held on Wednesday, January 14, at 11:30 a.m. in the education center at 101 Newbury Street, Boston. Advance registration is not required.

    For more information, please call 617-226-1209 or email

    Take the New NEHGS Survey!

    Our latest online survey asks a series of questions about the NEHGS Circulating Library. Filling out our brief survey will help us to improve and refine our services to you. Thank you for your participation.

    Take the survey at

    Calling All Riveting "Rosies" (and Descendants) — Ford Wants You!

    Remember "Rosie the Riveter"? The determined woman flexing her muscle on the famous poster of the 1940s symbolized all women who entered the U.S. labor force during World War II to keep American industry alive. "Rosie" was named after Ford Motor Company employee Rose Will Monroe, who was selected to appear in a promotional film encouraging women to contribute to the workforce. Millions of women from all over the United States began working in every type of industrial job imaginable while the men went overseas to fight the war.

    In October of last year, Ford Motor Company began asking all "Rosies" and their descendants to tell their stories on a special page on the Ford website ( With support from the the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service, Ford plans to use these stories to create exhibits in the visitor center of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California.

    Ford invites all "Rosies" and "Rosie" relatives or friends to share their experiences, anecdotes, or mementos of the effort. To submit a story, visit

    "Family Registers: Genealogical Decorative Art"

    An article entitled "Family Registers: Genealogical Decorative Art," which originally appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of Historic Nantucket is now available online at This article, prompted by an exhibit last year at the Nantucket Historical Association's research library, is drawn principally from a chapter in the NEHGS book The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England, edited by D. Brenton Simons and Peter Benes. Donna Smith Fee, the author of the Historic Nantucket article, discusses family registers that specifically pertain to Nantucket.

    Those interested in learning — and seeing — more on this topic can also visit the Nantucket Historical Association's digital exhibit, Family Roots: The 'Vine and Hearts' Family Registers at

    Over twenty articles from Historic Nantucket on a variety of subjects are also available online at

    Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback

    Each week we ask the questions "Who is your favorite ancestor? Who is your favorite black sheep ancestor? Why?" If you would like to contribute information on your favorite and/or black sheep ancestor, please send your story in 300 words or less to Lynn Betlock at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    My Favorite Ancestor
    by William Ives of Marblehead, Massachusetts

    I admire Nathaniel Turner for his many careers and sense of adventure. He came to Boston with Governor Winthrop in 1630 and settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, on Nahant Street, owning all of Sagamore Hill. I now pass his former property on my way home. Nathaniel played a number of roles in Lynn, my wife's hometown. He was a representative to the first seven sessions of the Massachusetts General Court and appointed constable in 1632. During that year, he was on a committee that settled a boundary dispute between Cambridge and Charlestown and in 1636, he and John Humphrey laid out the bounds of Ipswich. He was also a judge at the first Essex County Court in 1636. Nathaniel was appointed captain of the Lynn militia in 1633 and the next year he took his company on training day to hunt wolves in Nahant. He later commanded several expeditions against the Pequots.

    Nathaniel's career did not stop in Lynn. In 1637 his house burned down and he lost everything. He heard about favorable opportunities in the colony of New Haven, and joined the first settlers, assuming military command based on his Pequot Wars experience. There his granddaughter, Mary Yale, married Joseph Ives, my ancestor. In 1640 he acted for New Haven to purchase lands from the Sagamores, now Stamford, for twelve coats, twelve hoes, twelve hatchets, twelve knives, two kettles, and four fathoms of wampum. It was bought, in part, to counter the expansion of Connecticut, New Haven's rival. In the same year he purchased a large tract of land in New Jersey along with the current site of Philadelphia in a failed venture for New Haven due to resistance by Dutch and Swedish neighbors.

    His sense of adventure led to an untimely end. In 1646, New Haven, in an effort to ensure its independent status, sent a ship with a cargo of 5,000 pounds to secure a proper colonial charter from the Puritan Parliament now that the king, their enemy, was gone. Nathaniel went but the ship sank and all were lost at sea, along with any hope for New Haven's continued status as a separate colony. Nathaniel had kept up relations in Lynn and many there mourned his fate.

    NEHGS Contact Information

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