Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Dedicated to My Grandparents





My grandparents, Florence Sterling Roesch and Scott Hilligoss are buried in the beautiful grounds of the Florida Memorial Gardens in Rocklege, Florida. 

My great grandparents urns, Elsie Eldridge and Emond Sterling, were placed at the foot of their daughter's casket, with permission from the cemetery, but sadly they would not allow their names to be displayed.

I only get to visit once a year to place new flowers on their graves.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Ship Captain and Sailor Azawell E Burgess



Azasawell E Burgess was born in Canada on June 4, 1835.  By the time he was 18 yeas of age he was a sea captain.


Spartan
He also at one time he was for three years master of the Daisey Day.  Read about its' sinking:  http://www.michiganshipwrecks.org/daisyday.htm

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Capt Eli Pierce & Family

Rock Village RR Station


I had been looking for Eli Pierce and his wife Fidelia Rider (3rd gr grandparents) for some time.  I knew that they had lived in Rock Village, Middleboro, MA near the railroad station for their son Thomas Warren Pierce (2rd great grandfather) was born there.


Church at Highland Street Cemetery
 I found a cemetery on Highland Street that had my 4th and 5th great grandparents; that was exciting to find, but no Eli or Fidelia.  The family surely attended church here.  Sadly, the church was struck by lightening and burned to the ground.  A new church was built near where the old railroad station was.

So now I was on the hunt for the missing 3rd set of grandparents.  Fidelia was the link that led me to nine grandfathers that came over on the Mayflower.  So she alone was a very important person for me to find.

Eli Pierce and other generations of the Pierce line were all men with wonderful  military histories.  Eli  was commissioned lieutenant of a company of militia in Middleboro's south part, May 18, 1824, and captain on May 11, 1827, in the regiment of Col. Benjamin P. Wood, of Middleboro, 4th regt. of 1st brigade, 5th Division.

I next searched in Rochester, the next town over for one full day to no avail.  I then discovered they had moved to Rochester and Fidelia died there and was buried in Achusnet.  I chose the cemetery closest to the Rochester line, Long Plain Cemetery, Circa 1800.  This is where I found not only them, but others were noted on this gravestone that is taller than me.

Here I discovered their son Eli Wilson who was named after Fidelia's brother Wilson, and who was a minister.

 His wife Annie A (Slocum)  is here with a dedication to her on the back of this tone that reads:
"Weary hands lay still and rest folded oe'r a lifeless breast. God these hours of toil will bless, He will give thee sweetest rest"

Eli and Fidelia's son Nathaniel is there, named for Fidelia's father. This son was a clerk in the town of Rochester and at the age of 20 died of Typhoid fever.  Son Samuel who is listed here worked for years in his brother's, Thomas', hardware store in the town of Middlelboro.

Now we have an Annie F and an infant that I have yet to connect.  That mystery will be solved another day.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Military Monday - Lieut John Tomson

John Tomson, of Dutch origin, came to Plymouth in 1622 at the age of six.  He was a prominent first settler of Halifax, Ma.  He grew to be 6’3” tall, a very unusual stature for this period in time.

Sight of  log home
 burned down by the Indians in 1675
He married Mary, daughter of Francis Cooke, who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Being a carpenter, he built a log home, the first to be built in Halifax, Massachusetts. It was here that they suffered greatly. The Indians that surrounded them would continuously threaten them and steal their cattle and crops. 

One frightening episode happened while Mary was cooking fish in her kettle.  The Indians forcibly entered the home brandishing a knife over her in an attempt to steal the fish. Mary fought back the attack with a splinter broom and drove them away. This was only but one incident of many for the family was in constant peril.

History tells us that they were heading to church one Sunday morning when John spied a large gathering of very angry looking Indians.  He made the decision to return home and quickly gathered their valuables and left.  They warned a neighbor, but he refused to leave.

Once down the road about two miles, John looked back and saw flames and smoke.  The Indians burned their house to the ground in 1675. This was at the beginning of the King Phillip’s War.  Their neighbor’s house was also burned to the ground and he had been killed.  John received the commission of lieutenant and commanded a company of 16 men.  

John died on June 16, 1696.  He and his wife Mary, my 7th great grandparents, are buried in Nemasket Hill Cemetery in Middleboro, MA up high on a hill.  His gravestone reads:

In Memory of
Lieut. John Tomson who Died June 16th ye 1696
In ye 80 year of his age
This is a debt to nature due,
Which I have paid and so must you

Friday, July 20, 2012

Funeral Friday - Declared Incompetent

 Royal Beebe was raised on Beebe Hill in Cuba, New York. Beebe Hill was named by its first settler, Jeremiah Beebe, Royal's father, in 1829.  Jeremiah settled on a farm east of Cuba village in 1829 and died there.  

At the age of 20, a farmer by trade, in the year 1835 Royal married Mary Ann Woodward, my 3rd great grandparents. They had nine children.  In 1867 the family moved to Golden, Oceana, Michigan. In 1890, Royal had an accident from which he never fully recovered.  What the accident was is not known. (Working some years ago at a company that insured farms I do know that accidents occuring on farms can be horrific.) 

Two years later in the month and year of November 1892 the court appointed his son Alfred Royal, age 30, his guardian and given full power to administer his father's estate.  Royal at the age of 78 was declared incompetent.  His son stated that his father had lost his memory and was incapable of transacting his own business.  He didn't realize the value of money or property and needed someone to  see to the preparation of food, clothing and care.

Two months later, Royal died on January 7, 1893 leaving an estate of 40 acres, livestock, equpment and a detailed list of assets for a total alue of $1466.25.  Four of Alfred's sibling contested their father's will stating that he was not in his right mind when he signed it on October 9, 1892.  The will was signed by three non-family  witnesses.  The outcome is unknown.  


Obituary



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Robbing the Cradle


Buried together
in the Tomson Cemetery
Halifax, MA 
I just completed the Tomson branch of my family tree.  It takes me back to Francis Cooke of the Mayflower.  The Tomson family I find extremely interesting as well and will share more information in upcoming posts.  This story I found amazing.  I always heard the term "Robbing the Cradle", perhaps this is where it started.

The Tomson Cemetery is located about three miles from where I live.  I have been there but didn't have my camera with me.  I broke my first rule, "Always carry camera in car".  So now I need to visit once again to get the picture of their gravestones. Thomas Tompson and Mary Morton are my sixth great grandparents.

Thomas Tomson (also spelled Thomson and later Thompson) was a close acquaintance of John Morton who advised his friend, when the latter turned 25, that he should soon marry as he was of the proper age. Thomas is alleged to have replied, "I will marry that daughter of yours when she is old enough," pointing to John Morton's infant daughter Mary in her cradle.  John is not known to have objected, and when Thomas was 50, he made good his word, marrying Mary, aged 25. They married on December 13, 1715 in Middleboro, Massachusetts.

Thomas was a farmer and a glazier, and set diamond glass in lead, a feature of windows common in those days.

Thomas inherited 700 acres from his father, and he and Mary lived in the original house built by John Tomson following King Philip's War and the burning of the first Thomson home in Middleboro, Mass. They had seven children.

Sources: Ignatius Thompson, Genealogy of John Thompson (1841) and Charles Hutchinson Thompson, Genealogy and Descendants of John Thompson (Lansing, Michigan: 1890).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Society Saturday - The Hanging of Ruth Blay

I just finished reading “The Hanging of Ruth Blay” by Carolyn Marvin.  It is a true story that takes place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.   We learn about the atrocious ways in which women were treated during this early period.  Although it depicts the horror and unjust treatment of women, the story focus is on Ruth Blay. 

Women didn’t have a name of their own; they were referred to as Mrs. followed only by their husband’s name.  Women were subservient to their husbands to the extreme.  Men governed their lives in society and in the courts.  Women were at their mercy.

There is very little written in history about any achievement of women from the mid seventeenth to the late eighteenth century.  Here you find no written record of any achievement or contribution.  An exception to that would be Anne Hutchinson, for her word was only written for history because she was being tried in court by a jury of men for preaching, a man's domain where women were not to tread.  Women were second-class citizens at best.  They were expected to teach their children how to live their lives in the manner of the scriptures.  Not just according to the cloth but also by the political powers that be.

When Ruth, a single woman, became pregnant with a Bastard child, only she was to blame. Women did not reveal the father’s name so his reputation would not be tarnished. When Ruth fell and miscarried the child she was accused of infanticide.

I recommend reading “The Hanging of Ruth Blay” to only begin to understand how our female ancestors struggled every day in copping with a male dominated society that kept them oppressed.   

Monday, July 2, 2012

Motivation Monday - What Keeps Me Going


Arodi Peirce 1825
 The definition of geneaology is the study or investigation of ancestry and family history.  Sounds simple enough doesn't it?  Not everyone understands this concept or the deep emotional connection we feel when we uncover just who our ancestors are.  Some people just can't think past the grave and dead people. Those of us who have been researching and studying this thing called genealogy have been rewarded a thousand times over. 

I believe there comes a time in life when you realize how important it is to document your family history.   Slowly this endeavor becomes more than just names and dates.  You uncover lessons of faith, patriotism and love.  You learn about the struggles they underwent during wars, the depression and the loss of loved ones through illnesses we can cure today. 

I enjoy the hunt for the twists and turns and uncovering surprises that at times delight me and yes sometimes even shock me.  Studying and learning about your ancestors can teach you tolerance of others. Here you may find multiple faiths in your family tree along with a possble black sheep or two.  I believe that my ancestors are waiting for me to find them.

You begin to understand that you are a composite of all those who came before.  You come to the realization that one day you will be part of all those yet to come, therefore your life continues through them. What keeps me motivated is the realization that when you find pictures of your ancestors, learn the details and history of their lives, it is as if you knew them when they walked the earth.  It warms my heart.
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