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Monday, December 22, 2014

God Didn't Choose Sides



One hundred fifty years ago . . . Christmas of 1864 . . . the last Christmas of the war between the states . . . the final Christmas of slavery . . . 

Our Georgia-born Josephine is living in Brazoria County, Texas, where she had been a resident for about five years . . . by this time she is probably quite adept at assisting her Confederate surgeon brother-in-law in providing medical service to the locals . . . in March of that year, Josephine had married a young Confederate soldier . . . and by Christmas time she was most likely very concerned about her family back in Georgia, especially her paternal grandma . . . Sherman had just completed his march across Georgia . . . and had offered Savanah to the President as a Christmas present . . . f
rom a music CD entitled God Didn't Choose Sides comes a song about Christmas in Savanah in 1864 . . . 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Texas . . . the mother [Nellie] of Josephine's future daughter-in-law [Berta Mary] will be spending Christmas day in the home of her own mother-in-law [Mahala] . . . J.M. Hall will write about Christmas Day of 1864 as follows . . . 


Sunday, December 25th, 1864. Houston County, Texas. Today Sam Sharp & I with the children in the little wagon, Nellie & the little woman [Margaret] in the buggy, all drove down to Mother's [Mahala] where we spent our Christmas. We had a fine dinner & a good eggnogg. We passed the day very pleasantly. Weather cloudy & rather warm. 

This Journal entry brings to mind the following ca. 1844 verse written by Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880), who was born and died in Massachusetts [birthplace of the Mom of the Keeper of this family history blog] . . . 


Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandmother's house we go;
the horse knows the way
to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Mom's mother, Elizabeth, died in Massachusetts, but was born and raised in Maine, where multiple generations of her family had lived and died . . . by Christmas of 1864, Elizabeth's paternal grandma, Jerusha, had buried at least two young children, one in March and one in June of that year . . . Jerusha's husband, Atwood, was a member of the 27th Maine Volunteers . . . Elizabeth's father, Thomas, would not be born until 1866 . . . 

In April of 1864, Elizabeth's maternal grandma, Phoebe, had received a letter written by her father, William, from the New Orleans Barracks . . . he was back home by Christmas of that year after serving three years with the 30th Maine Regiment . . . 


One hundred fifty years ago . . . Christmas of 1864 . . . the last Christmas of the war between the states . . . the final Christmas of slavery . . . 


Ancestors to the Keeper of this family history blog (in order of their mention) . . .

  • Josephine -- 2nd great-grandma
  • Nellie -- 2nd great-grandma
  • Berta Mary -- great-grandma
  • Mahala -- 3rd great-grandma 
  • Sam -- 2nd great-grandpa 
  • Elizabeth -- grandma
  • Jerusha & Atwood -- 2nd great-grandparents
  • TWA Smith -- great-grandpa
  • Phoebe -- 2nd great-grandma
  • William -- 3rd great-grandpa








      P.S. . . . also in 1864 . . . in New Paris, Ohio . . . Ben Hanby has recently written a new song for children . . . it is said that this was the first Christmas carol to actually mention Santa Clause . . . you will recognize this one in the following recording by George Strait . . . 


      Monday, December 08, 2014

      1688 :: Will of Basil Waring


      On this date in our family history . . . the 8th day of December . . . in the year 1688 . . . the will of Basil Waring is probated in Calvert County, Maryland . . . this Basil is a 5th great-grandpa of Berta Mary Henry nee Sharp (1873-1955) . . . who is a great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .





      Baltimore Its History and Its People
      ByClayton Colman Hall,Lewis Historical Publishing Co:

      Sunday, November 30, 2014

      Sentimental Sunday :: Scrapbooking with Mark Twain












      On this date in our extended family history . . . the 30th day of November . . . in the year 1864 (which was a Wednesday) . . . Mark Twain would have been observing his 29th birthday, presumably somewhere in California . . . one hundred fifty years later . . . in the year 2014 . . . this anniversary of his birth falls on a Sunday . . . 

      It is said of Mark Twain that he devoted his Sunday afternoons to a hobby in which he found great enjoyment . . . and profitability! . . . in her book entitled "Writing with Scissors", Ellen Gruger Garvey says that . . . 


      Mark Twain kept scrapbooks for various purposes, mocked scrapbook keepers in his writing, and invented a new type of scrapbook; he also altered and innovated the language for talking and writing about scrapbooks.

      Mark Twain is in our family tree via several branches, but the closest known (at this time) is as a 4th cousin four times removed to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . 

      Monday, November 17, 2014

      1558 :: Birth of John Frost


      On this date in our family history . . .
      the 17th day of November
      in the year 1558 . . .
      John Frost is born in England . . .
      this John Frost is
      an 11th great-grandpa
      to the Keeper
      of this family history blog . . . 



      from Old Eliot


      Saturday, November 08, 2014

      1834 :: Howl Fir Tree for the Cedar is Fallen


      On this date in our family history . . . the 8th day of November . . . in the year 1834 . . . Grant Davis dies in Morgan County, Georgia . . . although his death occurs almost eight years before her birth, he is the paternal grandpa of Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis . . . who is a 2nd great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . 

      Grant Davis is laid to rest in a small family cemetery near Brownwood (southwest of Madison) in Morgan County . . . and on his tomb is inscribed the following . . . 



      In memory of
      GRANT DAVIS.
      Born July 18th, 1785.
      Died Nov. 8th, 1834.

      A righteous man is here inter'd.
      Whose faith in all his works appear'd.
      A husband and a father dear.
      Belov'd by all who knew him here.
      Redeem'd by Christ, among the just.
      His spirit waits its rising dust.
       
      Howl fir tree for the cedar is fallen.

      Exactly thirty years later . . . and exactly one hundred fifty years ago today . . . Sherman is notifying his army that soon they will be leaving Atlanta to make a "March to the Sea" . . . beginning in mid-November, this military action will continue until Sherman's troops have cut a swath of destruction across Georgia and beyond . . .


      The Josephine mentioned above was born and raised in Morgan County, Georgia . . . which is located just a short distance east of Atlanta . . . and directly in Sherman's path . . . although she was already living in Texas by the time of the war between the states, Josephine had many kith and kin still living in the Morgan County area when Sherman began this trek . . . including her own paternal grandma, Nancy S. Tate Davis nee Anthony (1783-1871) . . . 


      Regarding this land of my ancestors . . . according to a book by Louise McHenry Hicky . . . entitled Rambles through Morgan County, Georgia . . .



      While these were trouble filled times, [most of] Madison was spared from the ravages of Sherman's raid, because of an act of Representative Joshua Hill, later distinguished U.S. Senator, who resided here. Riding out from Madison, in quest of a wounded son, he made a point of meeting Sherman on the way to plead with him to spare the town. He had known Sherman in Washington, and due to the fact that he was one of the few southern congressmen who did not believe in secession, his plea had weight with the General, and [most of] Madison was bypassed. . . . 



      The closing chapter of this same book says that . . . 

      This is Gone With the Wind country . . .

      The world is still beautiful,

      filled with wonders;
      the sky is blue,
      the flowers still bloom,
      and birds warble in the magnolia trees. . . .

      There was a time when peace reigned

      and life was leisurely,
      and beautiful
      and romantic.
      Then came a war between the States,
      when all this beautiful living
      was gone with the wind. . . .

      This is a time for rememberng. . . .



      This blogpost was researched and prepared specifically for The Sixth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge over at cousin Bill's blog which is known as . . . West in New England . . .



      Friday, November 07, 2014

      Ode to Job


      On this date in our family history . . . the 7th day of November . . . in the year 1760 . . . 38-year-old Ruth Porter nee Foster dies in Boxford, Massachusetts . . . the following day, the 8th of November, would be the 16th anniversary of the day she had married Benjamin Porter in Andover, Massachusetts . . . this Benjamin and Ruth are 6th great-grandparents to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .

      Benjamin's family history in Andover traces back to his 3rd great-grandpa, Job Tyler, who is said to have been living in Andover as early as 1639 . . . it has been said of this Job that . . .  


      "He was a rude, self-asserting, striking personality" . . . and that . . . He did not . . . "learn prudence very fast, but he was himself. . . . He did not shape his words to suit sensitive ears. He resented dictation and found it hard to restrain himself from what he wanted to do through any prudential policy. . . . From this old canvas there gazes steadily out, not an ideal but a very real personage, an out and out Yankee type."


      At a Tyler Family Reunion held in Andover on Wednesday, September 2nd, 1896, the gathering was called to the old North Parish Church, where Job Tyler anciently paid "minister's rates," and where his sons, Moses, Hopestill and John, were early communicants.

      At this gathering, songs were sung, organization business was taken care of, and genealogies and letters of regret, as well as poems were read . . . including the following excerpts from a lengthy poetic composition written in honor of our Job . . .


      In Newport, quaint Rhode Island town,
      way down upon the coast.
      There landed from old England's shore,
      of whom we can now boast

      A "Tyler"; from o'er the sea came he
      to the woods and lofty hills.
      To found a home and family,
      and 'scape old country's ills.

      "Sixteen Forty," or thereabout,
      he stepped upon the strand
      And pitched his tent in an ancient town
      now known throughout the land

      As Andover, of scholastic fame,
      whose influence is known
      In Forum, Pulpit, Rostrum,
      where Knowledge it is shown.

      "Job" was his appellation,
      a patient man, 'tis said.
      This horny-handed ancestor,
      now numbered with the dead,

      Who delved from early morn till night,
      he strove to make a name,
      Respected, loved, esteemed by all,
      but yet, unknown to fame.

      To gratify his longing
      he went from town to town,
      To Roxbury, Mendon, Arundel,
      before he settled down.

      But he came back to Andover,
      and here resolved to stay.
      Where we revere his memory
      on this September day.

      The supposition is,
      his bones a grave doth fill
      In the little old-time burial yard,
      not far upon the hill;



      No stone doth mark the sacred spot
      or record can be found,
      But one, his first born,
      who lies there beneath historic ground.

      The trees do wave their requiem
      above the sacred dead,
      So we should grant our meed of praise
      for the spirits that have fled,

      And add our mite of reverence for
      those who went before,
      And visit, each and all, the spot,
      before the day is o'er.


      As is stated in that poem, Job's final resting place has been lost to the sands of time . . . thanks to those involved in the referenced gathering, our Job is now memorialized with a bronze tablet attached to a boulder in the Old North Parish Burying Ground in North Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts . . . that boulder was relocated from the old Tyler farm in West Boxford . . . and placed near the gravestone of his son, Moses . . . the memorial was dedicated five years following the above reunion . . . on the 4th day of September in 1901 . . . 


      This blogpost was researched and prepared specifically for The Sixth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge over at cousin Bill's blog which is known as . . . West in New England . . .

      Monday, October 27, 2014

      1671 :: Birth and Death of Mary and Mary


      On this date in our family history . . . the 27th day of October . . . in the year 1671 . . . it is recorded that Mary Mercy Pearson is born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts . . . and that her young mother, Mary Pearson nee Poore, dies at the time of her baby daughter's birth . . . the Mary who dies is a 10th great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . the Mary who is born is a 9th great-grandma . . .



      Essex Institute Historical Collections
      By Essex Institute, Peabody & Essex Museum

      Samuel Pearson born 29-5 mo., 1648; married in Newbury, 6 Dec., 1670, Mary Poore; she died 27 Oct., 1671. . . . Child by wife Mary, baptized in our church: Mercy, b. 27 Oct., bapt. 10 Dec., 1671; m. 24 Jan., 1693-4, James Thurston of Newbury.




      1710 :: Death of Mary Osgood



      On this date in our family history . . . the 27th day of October . . . in the year 1710 . . . Mary Osgood nee Clemens dies in Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts . . . Mary was a daughter of Robert Clemens . . . she was married to John Osgood in November of 1653, and it is said that they had a dozen children . . . this Mary is a 9th great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . 


      In 1692, Mary was accused of witchcraft . . . made a confession . . . but then recanted her confession on the 16th day of October . . . nevertheless, Mary was indicted on charges of witchcraft in January of 1693 . . . and spent about four months in the Salem prison . . . "she, with four others, were then released upon the petition of Mr. Dudley Bradstreet and a number of other Andover people, who had come to a better state of mind." . . . 


      P.S. . . . one of Mary's brothers was Robert Clemens . . . who is a 4th great-grandpa to Samuel Langhorne Clemens . . . who is aka Mark Twain . . . who is already my 4th cousin four times removed via one of my Southern lines . . . 

      Tuesday, October 21, 2014

      1850 :: The Census Taker



      On this date in our extended family history . . . the 21st day of October . . . in the year 1850 . . . T.J. Allen is acting as "the census taker" and is busy visiting residents of Milam County, Texas . . . this particular Mr. Allen just happens to be the third husband of Matilda Connell Allen Allen nee Roberts . . . who is an older sister of our Mahala . . . who is a 3rd great grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . regarding the job of "the census taker" it has been written that . . . 



      It was the first day of census,
      and all through the land;
      The pollster was ready,
      a black book in hand.

      He mounted his horse
      for a long dusty ride;
      His book and some quills
      were tucked close by his side.

      A long winding ride
      down a road barely there;
      Toward the smell of fresh bread
      wafting up through the air.



      As an enumerator for Milam County, one of the households Mr. Allen documented on this date contained the following family members . . .

      Elijah Goodnight 17 [sic]


      The woman was tired,
      with lines on her face;
      And wisps of brown hair
      she tucked back into place.

      She gave him some water
      as they sat at the table;
      And she answered his questions
      the best she was able.

      He asked of her children
      Yes, she had quite a few;
      The oldest just turned nineteen,
      the youngest is still two.

      He noted the sex,
      the colour, the age.
      The marks from the quill
      soon filled up the page.

      They came from Illinois,
      of that she was clear;
      But she wasn't quite sure
      just how long they'd been here.

      They spoke of employment,
      of schooling and such;
      They could read some and write some,
      though really not much.

      When the questions were answered,
      his job there was done;
      So he mounted his horse
      and he rode back toward home.

      We can only imagine
      his voice loud and clear -
      "May God Bless you all
      for another ten years."


      As it turned out, by the time the next census is taken (1860), T.J. Allen has died of yellow fever while working as editor for The Galveston Journal . . . most of the members of this branch of the Goodnight and Daugherty family have moved on to other parts of Texas . . . and the above mentioned "Charlie Goodnight" has been a member of the Texas Rangers (1857) . . . 

      Before another census comes around in 1870, Charlie has been involved in a near state-wide round-up of feral Texas longhorn cattle that have been roaming free during the years of the war between the states . . . he has invented the "chuck wagon" . . . 







      and he has used that early version of a "food truck" when he and Oliver Loving drove their first herd of cattle northward out of Texas along what would become known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail (1866) . . . 


      Now picture a time warp -
      it's now you and me;
      As we search for the people
      on our family tree.

      We squint at the census
      and scroll down so slow;
      As we search for that entry
      from long, long ago.

      Could they only imagine
      on that long ago day;
      That the entries they made
      would effect us this way?

      If they knew, would they wonder
      at the yearning we feel;
      And the searching that makes them
      so increasingly real.

      We can hear if we listen
      the words they impart;
      Through their blood in our veins
      and their voices in our heart.


      Slightly adapted
      from
      original poem
      by
      Darlene Stevens



      This blogpost was researched and prepared specifically for The Sixth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge over at cousin Bill's blog which is known as . . . West in New England . . .


      P.S. . . . as an additional tidbit . . . on this date in the year 1899 . . . Noah Smithwick dies in California . . . but back in 1850 he was also living in Milam County, Texas . . . and on the 11th day of September in that year, he was also enumerated by T.J. Allen . . . this Noah Smithwick is the author of Recollections of Old Texas Days . . .



      See also . . .


      Monday, October 20, 2014

      1650 :: Marriage of Daniel Poore and Mary Farnum


      On this date in our family history . . . the 20th day of October . . . in the year 1650 . . . Mary Farnum marries Daniel Poore in Massachusetts . . . some sources say they married in Andover . . . the text shown below says they married in Boston . . . this Daniel and Mary are 9th great-grandparents to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .





      clipped from Historical Sketches of Andover

      Thursday, October 16, 2014

      1675 :: Death of Isaac Botts


      On this date in our family history . . . the 16th day of October . . . in the year 1675 . . . Isaac Botts is "One of the two who fell in the little swamp near the house." . . . this Isaac as well as the Benoni Hodsdon mentioned in the Plaisted letter are both 9th great-grandpas to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .






      About an arrow-shot from Salmon Falls mill was the home of Elizabeth Botts and her first husband, Isaac. Here they owned twenty acres of land bordering upon Salmon Falls brook. . . .

      Their movable possessions were meagre and for utility instead of decoration. The whole list comprises: a hog, a chest, an ax, some small dishes, an iron pot, a frying-pan, a spinning wheel, a saddle, and a harrow. This shows with how few luxuries young married people of 1675 could find life worth living, and enjoy it at the same time. . . .

      With Isaac and his wife was their only child, Elizabeth, who was but a few years old. She afterwards married Samuel Brackett of Berwick, and lived on a farm adjoining her mother's later homestead. . . .

      Lieutenant Plaisted . . . wrote and sent the last letter he should ever compose. . . . "Salmon Falls, October 16, 1675. . . . No aid came in answer to this message . . .

      Near this same spot [the grave of Plaisted], although unmentioned on the stone, rest the remains of Isaac Botts (Bottes), who fell a sacrifice in behalf of the common cause. As was partly indicated, he was one of the men sent out originally to reconnoitre, and one of the two who fell in the little swamp near the house. As we saw, here the battle took place when the bodies were about to be laid on the cart. Thus they were all buried hastily very near this spot.

      In the garrison near by was Isaac Botts' wife, Elizabeth. They could not have been married long, and the separation must have been an unusually sad experience for her. She afterwards became the wife of our Moses [Spencer] and lived for many years.

      Hence this stone lying upon the little mound in Berwick marks for us not only the grave of one nearly connected with the family by marriage, but it is in the vicinity of one of our great-grandmother's homes abt the time of King Philip's war of 1675. . . . The Maine Spencers




      Sunday, October 12, 2014

      1682 :: Will of Robert Goodell



      On this date in our family history . . . the 12th day of October . . . in the year 1682 . . . Robert Goodell [aka Robert Goodale] makes his mark on his will . . . according to The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon, Robert died sometime between this date and the 27th day of June of the following year . . . which is when his will was proved in the courts of Salem . . . this Robert is a 10th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .


      I, ROBERT GOODELL being now aged and weak in body, as also my wife and my daughter Elizabeth Bennett, hath taken care of me, and therefore my will and desire is, and I do will and bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Bennett, and my grandchild John Smith, my house and the orchard and all the meadows that I now possess with the pasture which is about eight acres of upland be it more or less, all which land and meadows, my daughter Elizabeth Bennett and my grandchild, John Smith, shall enjoy after the lease, or term that is now let for, is expired, they or either of them paying as much rent, yearly as the wife of the above said ROBERT GOODELL hath let it, for which is to the value of twenty shillings in current pay?" dated the twelfth of October one thousand six hundred eighty two; and after my daughter Elizabeth's decease, the whole lands shall be my grand child's John Smith. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal.



      1915 :: Death of Margaret Antony


      On this date in our family history . . . the 12th day of October . . . in the year 1915 . . . Margaret Antony nee Davis dies in Dallas, Texas . . . it has been said of Margaret that she was . . . an estimable lady, a descendant of an old and honorable family of middle Georgia, daughter of Milton Grant Davis, who was a prosperous planter of antebellum days and cousin of ex-Governor Hubbard of this State. . . . this Margaret is the older sister of Josephine, who is a 2nd great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog . . .






      News of the death of Mrs. Margaret Antony, mother of Ed. L. Antony, one of the beloved pioneer citizens of Cameron reached her friends in this city Tuesday. Her death occurred in Dallas at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Alice Antony Brown and her remains were brought to Rockdale for interment accompanied by Mrs. Brown and Miss Beryl Antony. Funeral services were arranged by her nephew James Hamilton, in whose home she loved to visit. Miss Antony was a noble Christian character and her many virtues made her beloved in every community in which she had lived. She was a native of Georgia and was of the prominent Henry family [sic, i.e., Davis family] of that State. She has many relatives and friends here who will mourn her passing. Mrs. Lula Cass and Miss Estelle Westmoreland, Mrs. Mary Arnold and Miss Bennie Arnold went to Rockdale to attend the funeral. The Cameron Herald, October 14, 1915



      Saturday, October 11, 2014

      1732 :: Death of Moses Tyler


      On this date in our family history . . . the 11th day of October . . . in the year 1732 . . . Moses Tyler dies in Essex County, Massachusetts . . . and is laid to rest in the ancient cemetery in West Boxford . . . this Moses Tyler is an 8th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . 



      The above image is from page 40 of Volume I of The Tyler Genealogy by Willard Irving Tyler Brigham . . . the text about Moses Tyler reads as follows . . .


      Moses Tyler, born Rowley Village (now West Boxford), February 16, 1667; died October 11, 1732; married, January 3, 1694, Ruth Perley, of Ipswich; born 1676; died in Andover, May 10, 1738, but was buried with her husband in Rowley. It is stated in the History of Boxford that he moved just within the bounds of Andover about 1698, but in 1703 he is constable in Rowley. His name is on the 1711 Rowley tax list; in 1714 his "Province tax" was "£1.9.3"; he is on the preacher's rate of 1720; in 1722 his "Province tax" is "£0.18.8" and "Minister's rate, £0.15.7.", while in 1726, it is, respectively, "£3.8.11" and "£1.4.5." In 1728 he is selectman there. In 1723, with his brother Jacob, he deeds (recorded 1725, Salem, Bk. 45, p. 98), from "Andover," John Johnson, Jr., for £15, ¼ of a saw-mill, on a river, "alias brook, called Cachechorrick" — ¼ part of the iron-work — ¼ part wooden work — ¼ part utensils — ¼ part stream — ¼ part woodyard — ¼ part upper dam — ¼ part ditch from dam to mill for course of water. In 1736, upon the first incorporation of the second church in (West) Boxford, his widow and eldest daughter, Sarah (Porter) , were among the "admitted," having requested "dismission" from the First church.

      Wednesday, October 08, 2014

      1838 :: Death of Samuel Tabor Allen



      On this date in our family history . . . the 8th day of October . . . in the year 1838 . . . in the Republic of Texas . . . Mahala Lee Sharp nee Roberts is twenty-one years of age when her brother-in-law, Samuel Tabor Allen, is killed in Navarro County during The Surveyor's Fight (aka Battle Creek Fight) . . . at the time of his untimely death, Sam was married to Mahala's older sister, Matilda (1808-1879) . . . Sam was an early citizen of Viesca (later Milam County), and is mentioned in the pages of Texas history at tshaonline.org . . .

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014

      1909 :: Birth and Death of Baby Boy Henry





      On this date in our family history . . . the 16th day of September . . . in the year 1909 . . . a baby boy is born in the Bethlehem community (Milam County, Texas) to Edgar and Berta Mary (Sharp) Henry . . . that baby dies the same day . . . and is laid to rest near his paternal grandmother in the Murray Cemetery in Milam County . . . this baby boy is a grand-uncle to the Keeper of this family history blog . . .




      Sunday, September 07, 2014

      Sentimental Sunday :: Remembering Emma





      Fifty years ago today . . . on the 7th day of September . . . in the year 1964 . . . Emma Patience Muston nee Nettles dies in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas . . . Emma was a great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . and is shown holding her in the photo on the left in the collage . . . 

      Saturday, September 06, 2014

      1676 :: Death of John Porter




      On this date in our family history . . . the 6th day of September . . . in the year 1676 . . . John Porter dies in Salem Village, Massachusetts . . . he leaves a widow, Mary, and several children, including a son named Samuel, who is a 9th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . according to American Biography: A New Cyclopedia, Volume 5 edited by William Richard Cutter . . .



      From England came John Porter, born in 1596 . . . he built his first New England home, and there he lived until 1644, when he removed to Salem, settling in that part now Danvers. He had other lands granted him in Hingham, and held several offices of trust, both by election and appointment, and as a deputy to the General Court, May 20, 1644, represented the interests of his neighbors of the Hingham district. He also held the then very important office of constable.

      Although he bought the farm of Rev. Samuel Sharp, of Salem, May 10, 1643, he did not move to Salem until the following year, and his name does not appear in the list of members until 1649. The house which he built and occupied stood, no doubt, on the Sharp farm, near the site of the Unitarian church, and there remained until destroyed by fire about 1850.


      He bought several tracts of land in Salem, built a saw mill, was a man of energy and influence, well known in the colony as a public official. He again sat in the General Court in 1668, representing Salem, and finally, on September 6, 1676, passed to his reward, at his home in Salem Village. . . .


      John Porter left a will dated April 28, 1673, in which he divided his property among his children, after generously providing for his widow. . . .





      Friday, September 05, 2014

      1694 :: Fined for Fornacation


      Three hundred and twenty years ago today . . . on the 5th day of September . . . in the year 1694 . . . "Daniel Merrill & Hester Chase, now Married were fined 40s each for fornacation" . . .


      In Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Superior Court of Judicature for the State of New-Hampshire, 1827, it is stated that an "adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death" . . . the same book has the following to say regarding fornication . . .



      By an act of the colony of Massachusetts, passed in 1642, it was ordered, "that if any man commit fornication with any single woman, they shall be punished either by enjoining marriage, or fine, or corporal punishment." Col. and Prov. Laws 115.

      By an act of the province of Massachusetts, passed in 1692, it was enacted, "that if any man commit fornication with any single woman, upon due conviction thereof, they shall be fined, &c. not exceeding the sum of five pounds, or be corporally punished by whipping, not exceeding ten stripes apiece." Col. and Prov. Laws 239.

      As of this date, no record has been found of the date and place of their marriage . . . but the birth of their son, Joseph, was recorded as being the 28th day of May in that same year . . . this Joseph is a 7th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . bet his parents never thought this tale would still be being repeated three centuries after-the-fact! . . . and don't you have to wonder who had the job of keeping track of dates of marriage as compared to dates of birth?!?





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