Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our Ancestors, Part 1: Hawksley

I have shared tidbits here and there about various ancestors, but I think it is time to show you our family tree.  Perhaps you will see names of interest and find connections.

If you have any New England ancestors whatsoever, the odds of you being related to me are pretty high.  I'm not sure how it happened, but my family somehow manages to be descended from just about... everybody who came to Massachusetts, not to mention Connecticut and Rhode Island, with some Maine and New Hampshire thrown in for good measure (poor Vermont; left out of the mix).

So I have decided to post Ahnentafels on our ancestors.  Each lineage will begin with a great grandparent (for privacy's sake; half of our grandparents are still living).

Since this is a joint genealogy of both my husband's and my families, I will begin with Hawksley and connected lines.

My husband has the most eclectic mix of ancestors and lineages (far more so than me; you will find many instances in which my family tree, as Jeff Foxworthy puts it, does not fork).  In my husband's ancestry, we see English, Scots and Irish, French, German, and Dutch, and plenty of Ye Olde New England families as well.

Ahnentafel 1: Hawksley, which takes us mostly through Aroostook County, Maine, New Brunswick, and a bit into Sleepy Hollow, as well as upstate New York.

Generation 1

1.  Guy Sylvester Hawksley (1893-1976), my husband's great-grandfather

Generation 2

2.  William Roger Hawksley (1852-1925)
3.  Lydia Ann McPherson (1857-1937)

Generation 3

4.  John Goodwin Hawksley (1810-1893)
5.  Lucy Thomas Lilley (1822-1880)

6.  Isaac Newton McPherson (1830-1907)
7.  Angiline White (1838-1921)

Generation 4

8.  Unknown Hawksley
9.  Mary Goodwin (c. 1787-1868)

10.  Samuel Lilley (1786-1868)
11.  Rebecca Green (1801-1886)

12.  Charles Alexander McPherson (1785-1868)
13.  Sarah Adelia Grant (1802-1889)

14.  Isaac White (1796-1874)
15.  Rachel Yerxa (1801-1884)

Generation 5

18. Unknown Goodwin (Loyalist from New Jersey)
19. Unknown Workman

20.  Roger Lilley
21.  Frances

22.  William Green
23.  Unknown MacGibbons (???)

24.  Allan McPherson
25.  Isabel

26.  James Grant
27.  Elspet

28.  Isaac White (1767-c. 1850-1860)
29.  Susannah Morehouse (c. 1778-1784 - bef. 1850)

30.  Johannis Yerxa (c. 1751-1828)
31.  Catherine Gerow (1752-?)

Generation 6

56.  Thomas White (c. 1737-1816)
57.  Dorothea Brass (c. 1735-1745 - ?)

58.  Daniel Morehouse (1758-c.1806)
59.  Unknown

60.  Abraham Jurckse (c. 1726-bef. 1756)
61.  Engeltje Storm (1730-c.1804)

62.  Daniel Giraud (1725-1791)
63.  Elizabeth Coutant (1727-1816)

Generation 7

114:  Pieter Brass
115:  Elizabeth Cornelius

116:  Joseph Morehouse (1732-?)
117:  Hannah Banks (1739-?)

120:  Johannis Jurckse (c. 1695-bef 1750)
121:  Rachel Williams (c. 1705-?)

122:  Jan Storm (1704-?)
123:  Rachel DeRevier

124:  Daniel Giraud (c. 1700-abt 1757)
125:  Catherine Secord (1704-?)

126:  Jean Coutant (1695-1749)
127:  Elizabeth Angevine (1701-?)

Generation 8

240:  Johannis Jurcksen (1653-c.1701)
241:  Annetje Jochems von Wert (c.1660-?)

242:  Robert Williams (c.1664-?)
243:  Grace Cerant (c.1662-?)

244:  Gregorius Storm (1656-1711)
245:  Engeltje VanDyck

246:  Abraham DeRevier
247:  Unknown

248:  Daniel Giraud (1665-1757)
249:  Jeanne Lamerraine (1667-?)

250:  Daniel Secord (1672-c.1742)
251:  Catherine Woertman (c.1682-?)

252:  Jean Coutant (c.1658-1715)
253:  Susan Guion (1660-aft 1719)

254:  Zachariah Angevine
255:  Marie Naudin (1679-bef 1739)

Generation 9

480:  Paulix Jurcksen (c.1630-c.1685)
481:  Christina Janse (c.1632-?)

484:  Hope Willemze (Williams)

488:  Dirck Storm (1630-1716)
489:  Maria von Montfoord

490:  Thomas VanDyck

496:  Etienne Giraud (?-1692)
497:  Janne Foucard

500:  Ambroise Sicord (1631-1712)
501:  Jennie Perron (c.1636-c.1688)

502:  Dirck Jans Woertman (1630-1694)
503:  Marrietje Teunis Denyse (1644-1690)

506:  Louis Guion (bef.1640-?)
507:  Unknown

508:  Louis Angevine
509:  Marguerite Chalons (1635-?)

510:  Andre Naudin (1640-?)
511:  Marguerite (c.1645-?)

Generation 10

976:  Dirck Storm (1599-?)
977:  Alida van Cortenbosch

978:  Pieter van Montfoord
979:  Unkonwn

1004:  Jans William Woertman (1600-1647)
1005:  Harmetje

1016:  Henry Angevine (1611-?)
1017:  Charlotte Guinere

Generation 11

2008:  Nicholas Workman (1543-?)
2009:  Julyann

2032:  Francis Angevine (1588-c.1628)
2033:  Marie

Saturday, February 27, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Week 9 Challenge

While I have been following the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy challenges, I have not been blogging all of them. Naughty me. Here is the next challenge:
Pick five genealogy blogs and read them every day. Meet new people and networking within the online genealogy community is a great way to expand your own research and experience. Reading the blogs of others will help you get to know others. Try to find some blogs that are out of your area of expertise.
Part of the problem is finding blogs that are updated regularly (some have not been updated since 2008 or 2009), and the other part of the problem (if you could call it that) is deciding who to follow, since there is so much out there!

I decided to select blogs that focus on areas where I don't know as much as I would like.  So here are the 5 blogs I am now following:

Growing Up In An Italian Family - Although the focus is on a different region of Italy than my research, two (or more) heads are better than one.  I don't know enough about Italian genealogy other than the very bare minimum, so I hope to develop a better understanding by following this blog.

Wardills of Yorkshire and Beyond - The post on top is about a Hawksley. How could I not follow this blog, as we try to find my husband's elusive British ancestor?

Brophy's Irish Genealogy Blog - My ancestor Edward Marshall Haley comes from Ireland, and I definitely need to keep up with what is available for researchers in Ireland!

Genealogy Canada - A general website that covers a variety of genealogy news of interest to researchers with roots in Canada.

Family Matters - Because I am a 35-year-old Gen Xer, yet I still think of fruit as something you eat, not something that connects you to the internet. 

Or whatever it is those newfangled Blueberries do...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Benjamin Haley and Medical Science

Most of my ancestors for the past 5 generations are present and accounted for in records from birth to marriage to death (with the notable exception of my great-great grandma Emma).

Today I received one of the few vital records I had not yet collected on family for the last five generations. This was for my great-great-great grandfather, Benjamin F. Haley, son of Edward Marshall Haley and Clarissa Barrett. He was born about 1851 or 1852 in Plymouth (or Plympton or Kingston), Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I have yet to locate a birth record.

I have found documentation for both his marriages, his first to my third-great-grandmother Emma Jane Bonney on 13 January 1869 in Hanover, Plymouth County, Massachusetts; his second to Maria Keeley on 11 October 1892 in Falmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.

Benjamin and Emma had 4 children: Eliza Jane (1869), Hiram Frederick (1870), Benjamin Franklin (1873), and Herbert Benjamin (1878).

Emma and 3 of her 4 children died in 1882, leaving only Hiram, my great-great grandfather.

Hiram was married in 1891, leaving Benjamin alone.  On his own, it seems Benjamin went to Falmouth.  Whether or not there was some sort of estrangement between father and son, I do not know.  However, it seems quite possible given Benjamin's move and what I discovered on his death record today.

A Surprising Death Record

Benjamin died 10 January 1939.  I wrote to the town of Barnstable for the record, as Benjamin was in that town in the 1930 census.

The record arrived today and showed that he had died in the "state infirmary" in Tewksbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

I was puzzling over Section 21 (Place of Burial, Cremation or Removal), which did not list a cemetery, and Section 22 (Name of Undertaker).  Stamped across the sections is this: "Chapter 113, General Laws".

I immediately looked up Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 113 (I was a legal assistant for 10 years, so it is good to know my way around the M.G.L.).

This is what I found:


Chapter 113: Section 1. Disposition of bodies of deceased persons
Section 1. Upon the written application of the dean or other officer of any medical school established by law in the commonwealth, the penal institutions commissioner of Boston, the trustees and superintendent of the Tewksbury hospital or other public institution supported in whole or part at the public expense, except the Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts and the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, in this chapter called the authorities, shall permit such dean or other officer to take, within three days after death, the body of any person, required to be buried at the public expense, who died in any institution under the control of such authorities, to be used within the commonwealth for the promotion of anatomical science. In giving such permission regard shall be had to delivering such bodies to any such medical schools in proportion, so far as practicable, to the number of students therein.
Well, I'll be...  My great-great-great grandpa Benjamin never had a funeral or burial.  Instead, his body went to medical science.

But... Why?

This is at once both interesting and depressing.  He basically died of pretty typical old-age causes (generalized arteriosclerosis - hardening of the arteries - and hypostatic bronchopneumonia).  So it isn't like his body had anything unique to offer medical science; he would simply have been a practice "dummy" for the medical students.

It is sad to think his own son and daughter-in-law (both very much alive at the time), and adult grandchildren did not care for him in his old age.  Were they incapable or unwilling?  Was there estrangement in the family?

Unfortunately, Benjamin did not have many descendants outside of my own family. 

Hiram had 7 children, of whom only 4 seem to have had descendants.  My great-grandfather, Herbert, had 2 children.  Those 2 children each had 4 children, but our immediate family (my mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins) know little about the Haley family.

One son had a daughter who married, but we don't think she had children.

One daughter married and had a son, with whom I have been in touch.  I wonder if he might have any insight.

And another son had a daughter about whom we know nothing.

I will ask my grandfather if he knows anything about this particular piece of family history.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Catholic Hierarchy, part 2

Now that I have compiled a list of all Bishops born in Italy between 1800 and 1860 (or appointed after 1840), I have roughly 600 pages of information to sort through.

My next step is to narrow the list down to those who were born in the region of Liguria, where my great-great grandmother was born, or to the following regions, which border it:

Toscano (Tuscany)
Emilia Romagna
Piemonte (where my great-great grandfather was born)

From my searches on the internet, it appears that most Italian families tended to stay in the region or province in which they were born.  There is a strong sense of pride on many levels when it comes to their home town and surrounding areas. 

It stands to reason that if my great-great grandmother was born in Moneglia, her uncle was probably born in the same region, if not the same province.

Of course, this is not an exact science.  Just as one can not construct a complete genealogy based upon Italian naming traditions (never assume the first born son is named after his grandfather), I can not assume that my great-great grandmother's mother or father have deep roots in the region of Liguria. 

Once again, it is a process. And a potentially fruitless one at that! Yet, we genealogists persevere in search of our heritage.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Catholic Hierarchy

Since one of the few clues I have about my Italian great-great grandparents is that Ernesta Maddalena Bergamasco "had an uncle who was a bishop in Italy" (family memoir written by my great-aunt Espezzia Angelina (Galfre) Gola, 5 June 1990), I am in the process of learning more about the Catholic church.

Catholic Hierarchy

The site through which my research is currently focused is Catholic Hierarchy.  It lists Bishops, past and present.

As I mentioned in my post about Ernesta in October 2009, we don't know her mother's maiden name.  There were no Bishops with the surname Bergamasco, so the uncle must either be her mother's brother or a great-uncle.

So I am currently using the process-of-elimination method of research.  First, I am looking for Bishops born between 1800 and 1860, which would be the most likely time frame for Ernesta's uncle to have been born. 

Ernesta was born in 1874, so I can't imagine her mother was born any earlier than 1830 or any later than 1860.  An uncle, if a brother to her mother, would probably have been born in the same time frame.

Bishops in Italy

Also, I am focused on Bishops who served in Italy, since that is what the family memoir tells us.

I am creating a Word file where I am storing information on each Bishop who fits this profile (born between 1800 and 1860; served in Italy).  From there, I will do my best to locate information on each man and try to eliminate the possibilities.

Later, I may have to expand my search to other countries or another generation (if it turns out we are talking about a great-uncle versus an uncle; that would open up 2 more surname possibilities, at least, as then we would be looking at a man who was either Ernesta's mother's maternal OR paternal uncle, or Ernesta's father's maternal uncle).

One thing at a time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

John Barrett & Hannah Holmes of Plymouth, MA

The parents of John Barrett and Hannah Holmes are currently a mystery, as well as what happened to their child(ren) after their deaths.  Here is what I know thus far.

Timeline of John Barrett & Hannah Holmes

6 January 1787 - the first mention of John Barrett in Plymouth records, this is the date his intention to marry Hannah Holmes was filed.  It says:

1787 Janry 6 John Barrit now resident in Plimo & Hannah Holmes of Plimouth

It seems John did not come from Plymouth originally.

2 September 1787 - They are married in Plymouth

These 2 events are documented in Plymouth records.

About 1788 - Their son, William Barrett, is born (birth not recorded in Plymouth)

About 1789 - They may have had a daughter (birth not recorded in Plymouth)

1790 Census - John Barrett is in Plymouth, Massachusetts with 1 male age 16 and older (himself), 1 male age 16 and under (William), and 2 females (his wife and perhaps a daughter)

Between 1790-1800 - I can only speculate that John Barrett died.  There is no record of his death in Plymouth.

Also between 1790-1800 - They may have had a daughter (birth not recorded in Plymouth)

Hannah Holmes, Now a Widow

1800 Census - Hannah Barrett is in Plymouth with 1 male age 10 to 15 (probably her son William), 2 females under the age of 10 (daughters?), and 1 female age 26 to 44 (Hannah, placing her birthdate between approximately 1756 and 1774)

With regard to the parents of Hannah Holmes, I am currently going through the process of locating every Hannah Holmes born in Plymouth between roughly 1756 and 1774, and trying to find out which one she might be.  Holmes is a fairly common named in Plymouth.

2 November 1803 - Hannah Barrett dies in Plymouth, leaving a 15-year-old son (my ancestor William) and possibly 2 daughters, maybe the first about 13 or 14 and the second anywhere from 3 to 10.

15 November 1803 - Coroner Stephen Sampson was paid $14.15 for taking an inquisition on the body of one Hannah Barrett. (Plymouth Court Records, volume 4, page 177)

A friend checked the Plymouth County Massachusetts probate index, 1686-1881 by Ralph V. Wood (Published in 1988, Picton Press (Camden, Me)) and did not find any probate on the family.

I am left to wonder what happened to the 3 (?) minor children when their mother died.

William Barrett

20 May 1808 - William Barrett files his intention to marry Ruth Westgate of Rochester, MA (she had already given birth to their first child, William, on 19 May 1808)

They are married almost immediately and have a total of 7 children (as far as we know).

1810 and 1820 - William Barrett appears in the censuses in Plymouth, and the family numbers match up with the number of adults and children they were known to have.

17 Oct 1826 - William dies before this date, when Plymouth church records show the death of "the widow Barrett's child" at the age of 4 (presumably their youngest daughter, Susan, who was born about 1822).

The first five children (William, John, Clarissa - my 4th great-grandmother, Ruth Ann, and Benjamin W.) all went on to have children.  I do not know what happened to the 6th child, Charles, born about 1821, and Susan was the 7th child.

1830 Census - Ruth Barrett appears in Plymouth

12 December 1836 - Ruth (Westgate) Barrett remarries to Martin Gould in Plymouth, MA.

29 December 1861 - Ruth (Westgate) (Barrett) Gould dies in Plymouth.

Death records of the first 5 children of William and Ruth Barrett verify their parents (except Ruth Ann (Barrett) Savery's, which gives her father as "Charles Barrett"; clearly an error).

Who were the parents of John Barrett and Hannah Holmes?

Where did John Barrett come from before living in Plymouth? When did he die and how?

I should note that I found no land transactions for John Barrett whatsoever, nor Hannah in the time period during which they were alive.

When and how did William Barrett die?

Having exhausted Plymouth vital, church, and court records on this family, I am trying to find out if coroner's records are available.  I am looking at each and every John Barrett and Hannah Holmes born in the correct time period. 

I am also looking at all women living in Plymouth in the 1850 census who were born between 1787 and 1799, then checking their death records (or whatever further records are necessary) to see if any might be a daughter of John and Hannah.

Of course, this last one can only eliminate so many women.  The Barrett daughters may have died before 1850, or moved to another town, county, or state.

Process of elimination seems to be the only avenue I can pursue at this point.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Third Annual iGene Awards: Massachusetts style!

So I'm going to give this interesting blogging topic a shot and see what I can come up with as I look through my 2009 entries for New England Genealogy...  Let's see who wins in my eyes!

Best Picture

I don't share photographs often, but I must say that my pick would be the Blake Family of Dorchester, MA.  This photograph is actually in my sidebar as well, and I love it - most of all - because it was the first such family photograph I ever saw.  It brought me to genealogy at the age of 12, and I have been pestering people to tell me about their ancestors ever since.

Best Screen Play

Perhaps my Celtic Heritage would make a fabulous movie, if only to add some drama to the unknown aspect of my 4th great-grandfather Edward Marshall Haley's life!  We know he came to Massachusetts and was married in 1830 in Plymouth, but I wonder what his life was like in Ireland and why he came to America. 

I would definitely cast Gabriel Byrne to play Edward, and probably Jonas Armstrong as his eldest, fun-loving son, Tom (not my ancestor, but one of the 12 children about whom the most has been written).  And I think Nicole Kidman would make a lovely Clarissa Barrett, my 4th great-grandmother, the woman Edward married in Massachusetts.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers would work for my 3rd great-grandfather, their youngest child, Benjamin Haley.  I imagine my grandfather had a rather melancholic aspect to him...

Best Documentary

A blog, particularly a genealogy blog, is all about conveying information.  And the award goes to The Timeline for Emma, a chronological look at my elusive great-great grandmother.

Best Biography

Anybody looking for information on the woman who was known by 5 surnames need not look any further.  I have untangled the gordian knot that is Bessie Philena (Harrison) (Covill) (Fletcher) (Haley) Noyes.

Best Comedy

Alas, humor does not seem to play into genealogy as often as I would like.  I think the most blithe blog post (it is the best I could manage in 2009, apparently) was It Was Nothing At All, which gives you the tiniest bit of insight into my silly side.  Or at least my musical preferences.  ;)

Now the envelopes have all been opened, the awards have been distributed, and the performers have taken their bows.  Thank you and good night!