The New England Historical and Genealogical Register

Editorial: Fall 2017, Volume 171 (Whole #684)

Helen Ullmann’s 80th Birthday

The aim of the New England Historic Genealogical Society is to advance the study of family history in America and beyond by educating, inspiring, and connecting people through our scholarship, collections, and expertise. In the ongoing effort to fulfill this aim, we rely on staff and members sharing their knowledge, skills, and passion for family history to build and maintain a body of genealogical research that is unparalleled in our field.

One of the stalwart contributors to the success of NEHGS over many years has been Helen Schatvet Ullmann. Helen was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, 30 November 1937, and grew up in Darien, Connecticut. Her father, Charles Einar Schatvet, was three-quarters Norwegian, but his maternal grandmother was an Adams from Massachusetts. Helen’s mother, Marjorie Walcott Stevens, was born in New Jersey to parents with early New England ancestry. Helen received her BA in history from Mount Holyoke College and her MA in literature from Northeastern University. In 1959 she married Laurence “Laurie” Emery Ullmann, now a retired high school physics teacher. They had four children. Their son is deceased; their three daughters are all teachers. Helen and Laurie reside in Acton, Massachusetts, and for several years they were directors of the Nashua, New Hampshire, Family History Center.

In 1968 Helen became a member of NEHGS. Since her first article, published in 1983, she has produced hundreds of genealogical books, manuscripts, compilations, and articles, mostly about New England and Norwegian sources and families. The Family History Library catalog and the NEHGS catalog show many entries for Helen’s works, as does the website of the American Society of Genealogists; Helen was elected a Fellow in 2002.

Helen’s exemplary service as a volunteer to NEHGS and its members began in 1990 when she became a reader for Jane Fiske, then editor of the Register. Helen became a Certified Genealogist the same year. Beyond her genealogical expertise, Helen has also lent her service to NEHGS governance. She was a trustee 1991–1994, and a Councilor 2004–2009 and 2011 2013. Since 2015 she has been a Trustee Emerita.

In 1992 she began working as a volunteer consulting editor for NEHGS books, mentoring people who submitted manuscripts. Her work developed into genealogical writing and editing, and she has been involved with and contributed to many Newbury Street Press (NSP) and NEHGS books. In addition, she has written or edited several books for NSP and NEHGS, including two volumes of early Connecticut court records and several books on her own New England families. In 1998 Helen published her first award-winning genealogy, Descendants of Peter Mills of Windsor, Connecticut, which received the Donald Lines Jacobus Award of the American Society of Genealogists. Her book Some Descendants of Roger Billings of Dorchester, Massachusetts (2012) received the National Genealogical Society Award for Excellence in Genealogy and Family History.

In 2001 Helen became volunteer associate editor of the Register. In this position she reviews all the articles received. For accepted articles she reviews cited sources and finds additional material, sometimes working directly with authors. She also writes book reviews and editorials.

In 2009 she took on the volunteer editorship of the Western MassachusettsFamilies in 1790 study project, for which three volumes have been publishedand sketches for a fourth volume are available on AmericanAncestors.org.

In their prospectus for creating a scholarship enterprise, the founders of NEHGS wrote that they endeavored to create something of “permanent value as a repository of minute and authentic facts, carefully and methodically arranged on a great variety of subjects pertaining to antiquities, history, statistics, and genealogy. In doing this we cannot but feel that we are performing a great service for the country at large, but especially for New England, and her sons wherever scattered.”

NEHGS is truly honored to have such an inspired and inspiring volunteer as Helen to help us carry out the farseeing vision of our founders. Helen has, indeed, created something of permanent value, and we are grateful for all her years of service to NEHGS and for her friendship with so many of us.

– Ryan J. Woods, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


From the Editor

This issue of the Register begins with an article by Helen Ullmann, which was published in the Register in 1995: A Comedy of Errors: Griswold Confusion in Windsor, Connecticut. Helen was trying to establish for her Mills genealogy which Abigail Griswold married Roger Mills in 1771. She found two girls the same age named Abigail Griswold, and determined that the authors of the 1990 Griswold genealogy had chosen the wrong one as the wife of Roger Mills.

The second article is also by Helen, Western Massachusetts Families in 1790 Sketch: Richard Morton of New Salem. This sketch is about Helen’s ancestor, who was born in Athol in 1755, lived in New Salem, and died in 1809 in Orwell, Vermont. Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the article is that Richard had an illegitimate daughter named Innocence by a woman known as Philinda Morton, who also had an illegitimate daughter named Virtue by another man. An agreement among Richard’s heirs in 1811 included Philinda, Innocence, and Virtue as heirs!

Helen is descended from Anne (Lloyd) (Yale) Eaton, whose father was George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester (ca. 1560–1615), and whose second husband was Theophilus Eaton, Governor of the New Haven Colony. The Ancestry of Anne Wilkenson, Wife of George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester, by Scott G. Swanson, is the first installment identifying the Suffolk ancestry of BishopLloyd’s wife. A portrait of him is on the cover of this issue of the Register.

Margaret Browne, Wife of James Cade and Nicholas Baxter, Both of Boston, Massachusetts, by Joan Lince. Margaret had a daughter and a stepdaughter the same age: Mary (Cade) Bull (1640–1723) and Mary (Baxter) (Buttolph) Swett (1640–1721). Fortunately, there was litigation among the heirs over property in Boston and in England, and this generated records that clarified the relationships.

George Barlow, the Marshal of Sandwich, Massachusetts, and His Descendants for Three Generations, by Ellen J. O’Flaherty, treats an unpleasant colonial official who persecuted Quakers in the 1650s and 1660s. He appeared frequently in court records for various offenses, several unrelated to his position as marshal.

In The English Origin of George Puffer of Braintree, Massachusetts, Randy A. West presents entries from the parish registers of Earl Shilton, Leicestershire, for the marriage of George Puffer in 1624 and the baptisms of three children.

We continue The Higginson Family of Berkeswell, Warwickshire, and ItsAmerican Descendants: Daniel Clark of Windsor, Connecticut; Rev. JosiasClark of New York, Boston, and Jamaica, West Indies; Isabel Overton,Wife of Rev. Ephraim Huit of Windsor; Nicholas and Robert Augur of NewHaven, Connecticut; Hester (Augur) Coster of New Haven; Robert, Humphrey,and Christopher Higginson of Virginia, by Clifford L. Stott.

Jedediah Smith’s Book of the Records of Marriages in Blandford, Massachusetts, by Helen Schatvet Ullmann, is concluded in this issue.

George R. Nye’s article on William Trowbridge alias William Bent (1791– 1853) of Framingham, Massachusetts, and Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, is concluded in this issue. Several of William’s grandchildren died in the U.S. or in Saskatchewan; some of them were buried in Sherbrooke nevertheless.

Additions and Corrections are mostly about Frederick Hart’s John Waterbury article in the Register in 2010–2011.

– Henry B. Hoff