The New England Historical and Genealogical Register

Editorial: Winter 2017, Volume 171 (Whole #681)

Most articles published in the Register have a Genealogical Summary, either to present research on a family or to create family sketches from research that has been presented in the first part of the article. Looking at this issue of the Register, we see examples of both of these styles, as well as no Genealogical Summary for a short article.

There are other styles of presentation in this issue as well. The arguments in the Latham article use a Genealogical Summary for each generation developed, as well as a “skeletal chart of the males in the family as presented so far” in the middle of the article. A key argument identifies which Oliver Latham was the father of Lewis Latham, and the author develops a list of eight points to show that this Oliver was born say 1545 and was living in 1598.

The Frank article initially had two very long footnotes near the beginning of the article, one on the family of John and Sarah (Weld) Frank of Boston, possible parents of Thomas Frank, the other on the parents and siblings of Thomas’s wife, Rachel (Pomeroy) Frank, for whom no compiled genealogical account exists. These footnotes overwhelmed the beginning of the Frank article, and so were transferred to two appendices with a genealogical summary for each.

The author of the Fiske article chose to treat two relevant families separately in Part 3 of the article. These two families relate to Part 2 of the article, unlike the Frank article whose appendices relate to the beginning of that article.

How much to include about spouses is often a concern, especially for spouses of ancestral siblings. For generations in the seventeenth century we usually include full data, including the names of both parents and the father’s lineage line back to the immigrant in order to make the research more useful to readers who are connected to, but not descended from, the family or families in the title of the article. However, determining lineage lines or even parents is not always feasible for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century spouses, and for long articles we sometimes include only the names of spouses of ancestral siblings.

Authors may want to consider one or more of these methods for presenting their own articles, and earlier issues of the Register and other genealogical journals may provide other styles to emulate. In addition, visual aids like maps, portraits, illustrations, and tables add clarity and interest to an article.

Our lead article is William H. Johnson, a Free Man of Color of Tyringham, Massachusetts, and His Descendants. During her work in the Tyringham town cemetery, author Patricia R. Reed determined that more than half the African-Americans buried there were descended from or related to William H. Johnson (born in 1791 in Schoharie County, New York, died in Tyringham in 1863). His extended family network included a Revolutionary War veteran and four Civil War veterans, two of whom served in the Massachusetts 54th Infantry Regiment.

Based on extensive original research in England, author Scott G. Swanson shows in Notes on the Family and Ancestry of Lewis Latham, Father of Frances (Latham) (Dungan) (Clarke) Vaughn of Rhode Island, that Lewis Latham came from a yeoman family of Northamptonshire that can be traced back to Lewis’s great-grandfather, who died in 1558. This article corrects various undocumented accounts of Lewis Latham’s family published as far back as 1889.

Two first cousins named Sarah Kelton were about the same age. An 1895 genealogy showed the wrong one married to James Bowen, as demonstrated by a 1808 family letter and the 1814 will of James Bowen’s father-in-law. John M. Freund presents this evidence in The Parentage of Sarah5 Kelton, Wife of James6 Bowen of Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

Thomas Frank married in Boston in 1714, and The Descendants of Thomas and Rachel (Pomeroy) Frank of Boston and Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Falmouth, Maine, are traced by Thomas W. Frank. Thomas Frank may have been a son of John and Sarah (Weld) Frank of Boston, whose known children are identified in an appendix. The author includes extensive detail about the settlement of Falmouth and the complex and controversial network of land transactions involved.

In Amasa Coburn (1753–1815) of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, author Nancy R. Stevens gives a complete account of Amasa Coburn and his seven children. Only the oldest was mentioned in the 1913 Colburn/Coburn genealogy.

Michael J. Leclerc’s article, The Wife and Descendants of Revolutionary War Traitor Dr. Benjamin Church, Jr., of Boston, is concluded in in this issue with an account of his granddaughter Mary Ann (Kirkby) Tucker and her descendants in Boston, Portland, and Brooklyn — and Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Iowa.

A Re-Examination of the Fiske Family of Suffolk, England, Ancestral to Some Early New England Families, by Myrtle Stevens Hyde, is concluded in this issue with accounts of the Dalling family of Laxfield, Suffolk (ancestral to all of the New England families) and the Gold family of Norwich and Suffolk (ancestral to most of the New England families).

– Henry B. Hoff and Helen Schatvet Ullmann