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History of Pelham, Massachusetts from 1738 to 1898

“There is no town so poor that its past hasn’t furnished something worth embalming for posterity.” – Boston Transcript, February 23, 1898

This quote stands as the leading page to Chapter1 of a History of Pelham, Massachusetts from 1738 to 1898, Including the Early History of Prescott. The book was originally publishing in 1898, serving as a 158 year history to Pelham and, was reprinted by Heritage Books in 2011. This book tells the local history of a town first settled by immigrant, Presbyterian Scots. The volume cover, among other items, the following:

  • Early Settlement of the Town
  • Establishment of Schools
  • The French and Indian Wars
  • The Revolutionary War
  • Shays Rebellion
  • Sketch of Capt. Daniel Shays
  • Church History
  • The Rebellion of 1861-5
  • Sketches of Notable Men
  • Natives of the Town
  • Etc. Etc.

According to the author of this work, C. O. Parmenter, records collected in preparing this history mostly include town and parish record books. Unfortuneately, old Presbyterian church records were lost prior to this history’s writing. Such records may have provided greater detail to the personal lives, especially social and family details. Records of marriage intentions, marriages, births, and deaths are the only sources of information for women and daughters. No record of their work was left behind.

Records regarding major events, which involved action by the town, show the results of decision but little of the overall public awareness and thinking behind the decisions. In preparing this history, every town record was read repeatedly in an effort to gleam every possible detail of value. One thing this book does offer is names. There are hundreds of names from the lists of farmers, businessmen, innkeepers, laborers, soldiers and town officers.

The book is large at 531 pages. There are details a plenty and a lot of local historical interest in the stories centered around major events. Massachusetts, as one of the original 13 defecting colonies, played a major part in the French-Indian War, The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and so on. Add to that the birth of a nation and a religious people and there is plenty here to learn about the birth of a nation, along with genealogical facts about hundreds of people.

History of Pelham, Massachusetts from 1738 to 1898, Including the Early History of Prescott is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBP1845, Price: $45.08.


Table of Contents

Settlement of Pelham

  • North of Ireland Scotchment learn of America
  • Memorial to governor Shute of Massachusetts sent by Rev. Mr. Boyd in 1718
  • One Hundred families sail for Massachusetts and land in Boston August 4, 1718
  • From Boston to Worcester
  • Then to Pelham in 1738
  • Description of Equivalent Lands purchased
  • North of Ireland Scochmen in 1738

Proprietors’ Records 1738 to 1743

  • First meeting of Proprietors held at Worcester February 26, 1738/9
  • Articles of Agreement for purchase of land made and indented October 20, 1738
  • Survey of the tract purchased with plan of the same and names of those who drew Home Lots
  • First meeting of Proprietors held on the newly purchased tract first called Lisburn, August 6, 1740
  • Various meetings of Proprietors previous to the Incorporation of the Town 1743
  • Meetings of Proprietors’ organization until 1767

The Communion Token

  • Distributed to Members on Lecture Days
  • Gathered Again After Communion Service

Incorporation of the Town of Pelham—Town Meeting Records, From 1743 to 1763

  • First Town Meeting held April 19, 1743, at the call of Robert Peibols
  • Full list of Officers Chosen
  • Voted to Establish Schools in 1744
  • Annual Town Meeting Records
  • Petition to General Court to Legalize Acts of Town Officers in 1753
  • Invoices Given in for Taxation in 1760
  • The Town Presented at Court in 1762 for “Voluntarily Omitting and Neglecting to Provide Themselves with a Learned and Able Orthodox Minister”
  • Illegal killing of Deer in 1763, and Penalty therefor,

From 1763 to 1776

  • Call of Rev. Richard Crouch Graham to Settle in 1763
  • Objectors Thereto
  • Warning of Objectionable Families to Leave Town
  • Pewing the Metting house in 1766
  • Allotment of Pews
  • Disagreement with the Shutesbury Selectmen About Town Lines in 1769
  • Town Vendue in 1769
  • Death of Rev. Mr. Graham in 1771
  • Rev. Andrew Bay Supplies the Pulpit in 1772
  • Patriotic Response to the Boston Committee of Correspondence, 1773
  • Call to Rev. Nathaniel Merrill in November, 1774
  • Letter of a Pelham Man in the Army at Charlestown, 1775
  • Committee of Safety Chosen 1776
  • Handbill from the Court of Independency 1776

From 1777 to 1786

  • Valuation of Property for Taxation Established 1777
  • Rev. Mr. Merrill’s Appeal 1779
  • Large Increase of Salary 1780
  • Measures Taken to Secure Men for the Army 1781
  • Bounties Offered
  • Action Taken to Procure Beef for the Army
  • Daniel Shays on Committee of Safety 1781
  • Selectmen Refuse to Call a Town Meeting 1782
  • Trying to Settle with the Three and Six Months Men 1783
  • Allowance to Soldiers in the Late War 1785
  • The Town Votes to Have a Bank of Paper Money Made 1786

From 1786 to 1797

  • Petition of certain inhabitants of Belchertown in 1786 Convention at Bruce’s Tavern, July 31, 1786
  • Mutterings about “Grievances” in Town Meeting
  • Delegates to Convention at Hatfield in August, 1786
  • Second Parish Organized 1786
  • Choice of Delegates to Attend Constitutional Convention, 1787
  • First Justice of the Peace Appointed, 1788
  • Families Warned to Leave Town in 1790-91
  • First General Appropriation for the Poor, 1790
  • Support of the Poor First Sold to Lowest Bidder 1794
  • Laying Out Road to the Valley, 1795
  • Stipulation Concerning the Poor, 1797

From 1797 to 1809

  • Transfer of Pews in the Old Meeting-house, 1798
  • Permission Voted to build “Horse Shades,” 1799
  • Sale of Town Lands at Vendue, 1801
  • Opposition to the Building of Turnpike, 1802
  • A Town Pound Established, 1804
  • Robert Lotheridge Sells His Pew in the Old Meeting-house
  • voted to hold one-third of the Town Meeting in the Second Parish, 1805
  • Attempts to have the Toll-gate Abolished, 1806
  • Samuel and Andrew Hyde Petition to have their Lands Set Off to Amherst, 1807

From 1809 to 1815

  • Two Candidates for Representative to the General court, 1809
  • Taxes Upon the People, 1809
  • The Abercrombit Brothers, Isaac and James, Candidates for Representative, 1810
  • The 6th Mass. Turnpike Corporation Tries to Discontinue Their Road Through Town, 1810
  • County Road to Enfield Laid Out, 1811
  • Governor Petitioned to Restore the Two Military Companies to their Former Regiments, 1812
  • Fear of a Draft for the War of 1812
  • Wages of Detached Soldiers Raised, 1814
  • The East Parish asks to be Set Off as a Town by Itself, 1815

From 1815 to 1824

  • New Pelham
  • Order of Notice from the General Court to Show Why the Prayer of the Second Parish Should Not be Granted, 1819
  • The Town votes Against Revising the Constitution, 1820
  • The Last Act of Opposition to Setting Off the Second Parish
  • The Town Rejects All of the Eleven Amendment to the Constitution, 1821
  • Large Number Supported by the Town in 1822
  • Sale of Common Lands and Proceeds go for Repairs on the Meeting House, 1823

From 1824 to 1861

  • Council Called to Dismiss Rev. Winthrop Bailey in 1825
  • Great Flood of 1828 Does Damage
  • Ziba Cook Elected Representative by One Majority in 1829
  • Stove Used in Meeting House for the First Time in 1831
  • New Town Hall Wanted in 1835
  • Money Secured from the United States Treasury in 1837
  • Wanted to Change the Name of the Town in 1840
  • Libraries Established in 1842
  • Scheme for Two Town Halls in 1842
  • Old Meeting House Changed for Town Hall in 1844
  • Old Meeting House Rented in 1846
  • Many Candidates for Representative in 1850-51
  • Voted to Surrender the Charter in 1854-56
  • Enrolled Men in 1861

From 1862-1897

  • Action for the Relief of Soldiers’ Families, 1862
  • Draft for Men in 1863
  • Heavy Taxes After the War
  • Number of Schools Reduced from Eight to Four in 1874
  • Few Town Meetings Annually After That
  • Blizzard of 1888
  • Death of Sylvester Jewett, 1892
  • History of the Old Meeting House

Schools—From 1744 to 1897

  • Establishment of Schools in 1744
  • School committees
  • Appropriations of Schools for Each Year from 1744 to 1897

Mills, Manufacturies, Etc

  • Lands for Mills, 1739
  • Corn Mill, 1735
  • Stinson’s Sawmill, 1760
  • Hamilton’s Sawmill, 1785
  • Barlow’s Sawmill, 1787
  • Town Takes Action, 1791
  • Mills Built on Home Lot 56, 1803-4
  • Many Owners of Mills in the Hollow
  • Stephen Fairbank’s Carding Machine, 1815
  • Shoe Peg Business on Pergy Brook
  • Land for Mill at West Pelham, 1739
  • Scythe Shop and Foundry
  • Carding Machine, 1808
  • Jillson’s Mills, 1820
  • Various Owners of Mills
  • Fishing Rod Business, 1858
  • Montague City Rod Co
  • Brown’s Turning Shop
  • Charcoal
  • Stone Quarries
  • Miscellaneous Manufacturing
  • Innkeepers and Retailers
  • Merchants
  • Justices of the Peace
  • Physicians
  • Blacksmiths

Religious Societies

  • The First Presbyterian Church History gathered from the town and parish records, the old church records having been lost or destroyed
  • From the Records of the Second Presbyterian Church and Parish of Pelham from 1786 to 1822
  • Confessions of Faith
  • Records of Church at Pelham Center from 1822 to 1897
  • Quakers or Friends
  • Baptists at Packardville
  • The Methodists, Beginning with the Labors of Rev. Isaac Stoddard in 1831
  • Union Society at Packardville Organized 1869

Rev. Robert Abercrombie and the Church at Pelham

  • Stephen Burroughs, The Suppliers
  • Obtained a Situation as Supplier in Spring of 1784
  • Preached Acceptably Four Sundays
  • Reengaged for Four Months
  • Read an Old Sermon at a Funeral
  • Given a Text from which to Preach with Little Time for Preparation
  • Proved his Ability to Preach Extempore
  • With One Sunday More to Preach was Found to be and Imposter
  • Fled in the Night
  • Pursued by the Indignant People
  • Fracas at Rutland
  • Came Back to Pelham in the Night to His Friend Lysander
  • Passed Counterfeit Dollars in Springfield and was Imprissoned
  • The Hay Mow Sermon

Pelham in the Wars

  • French War
  • Revolutionary War
  • War of 1812
  • Mexican War
  • The Great Rebellion
  • A Full Company of Men in teh French and Indian War, 1757
  • Opening of War of Revolution
  • Ironclad Oath of Pelham Men
  • Capt. David Cowden’s Company of Minute Men April 19, 1775
  • Old Muster Rolls
  • Names of Men
  • The March to Cambridge in the War of 1812
  • Pelham Men in the Great Rebillion
  • Sketches of the Men and the Regiments in which they Served

The Shays Rebellion of 1786-87

  • Capt. Daniel Shays, a Pelham Man
  • Gathering of Debt Burdened Men in Conventions
  • Lists of Grievances Formulated
  • Opposition to Lawyers in General Court
  • Opposition to Sittings of the Courts
  • Terms of Court Prevented by Armed Men
  • Court Houses in Possession of Armed Insurgents
  • Gov. Bowdoin Calls Out the Militia
  • Warrants Issued for Arrest of Insurgent Leaders
  • Gen. B. Lincoln Given Command of Militia
  • Gen. Shepherd’s Detachment Guarding the Arsenal at Springfield
  • Shays Marches to the Attack
  • Repulsed
  • Several Men Killed
  • Flight of Capt. Shays and Men to Pelham
  • Gen. Lincoln Pursues
  • Shays’ Men Dispersed at Petersham

Captain Daniel Shays

  • Born at Hopkinton
  • In the War of the Revolution
  • In Pelham After War
  • A Friend of Landlord Conkey
  • Met Debt Burdened Men at Conkey’s Tavern
  • Drilled them in Use of Arms
  • Became Rebel Leader
  • Fled from the State
  • Was Pardoned in 1788
  • Removed to State of New York
  • Did not Prosper in Business
  • Drifted to Livingston County
  • Died in 1824 After Living in Extreme Poverty at Sparta

Settlement of Salem, N.Y., by Pelham People in 1764

  • James Turner and Joshua Conkey First Settlers of Salem
  • Journeyed Through the Forests of Foot in 1761
  • Took Up Lands
  • Went Back to Pelham for the Winter
  • Made Permanent Settlement in 1764
  • Hamilton McCollister Joined the Pioneers
  • The Settlement Known as New England Colony
  • Were Men of Character
  • Had Highest Esteem for Religion
  • First Sermon Preached was in the Cabin of James Turner

Professional and Business Men, Natives of Pelham

  • The Record a Good One
  • Have made their mark as Professional and Business Men in Many States
  • Wells and Edward Southworth, Business Men
  • Daniel, James and Austin W. Thompson, Leading Physicians of Northampton
  • Ira P. Rankin, Business Man and Government Officer, San Francisco
  • Dr. James Dunlap of Northampton
  • Dr. Harvey Wilson Harkness, Scientist, San Francisco
  • Judge Ithamar Conkey of Amherst
  • Col James N. Smith, Railroad Builder, Brooklyn
  • Nathaniel Gray, San Francisco
  • Rev. Aldin Grout, Missionary
  • William Smith Otis, Inventor, Etc.
  • Dr. Israel H. Taylor of Amherst

John Savage and John Stinson

  • Prominent Citizens of Pelham in the Middle of the 18th Century, but not Natives of the Town

Concerning the Women of Pelham

  • Reputation for Industry
  • They Introduced the “Little Wheel” for Spinning Flax
  • They Taught Its use
  • They Spun and Wove Linen
  • Also Wool, and made the Cloth into Garments
  • Made Domestic Braid from Rye Straw
  • Braided or Platted Palm Leaf into Hats
  • Wove Palm Leaf into Webs for Shaker Hoods
  • Marriages
  • Published Intentions of Marriage
  • Births
  • Form of Death Record
  • Etc.

Mount Lincoln

  • Description of the Mountain
  • Many Towns Seen from its Summit
  • Beacon Fires During the Revolution
  • Station for Geodetic Survey
  • Heighth Above Tide Water
  • Uncle Reuben Allen

Old Burial Places

  • A Sketch of each of the Eleven Burial Places of Pelham
  • The Old Burial Ground at the Center
  • The West Burying Ground
  • The Quaker Burying Ground
  • The Arnold Burying Ground
  • The Johnson Family Burial Places
  • The Smith Private Burial Ground
  • Burial Ground near George Knight’s
  • Packardville Burying Ground
  • The Valley Cemetery
  • The West Pelham Burying Ground
  • The Cemetery on the Prescott side of the East Hollow

Taverns and Landlords

  • The Taverns of Thomas dick
  • The Conkey Tavern
  • Dr. Hind’s Tavern of Pelham East Hill
  • Kingman’s Tavern o the West Hill
  • Cook’s Tavern
  • The Orient House
  • Hotel Pelham

Old Advertisements, Etc.

  • Stray Cattle and Horses
  • Taken in Damage and Otherwise
  • Clear Description of Animals
  • “Marks for Creaturs,” Posting of Warrants for Town Meetings

Stories—Pleasant and Otherwise

  • De Rex vs. Hyde
  • Rev. Robert Abercrombie and the Church Committee
  • Rev. Dr. Parsons of Amherst and the People of Pelham
  • Farmer Harkness and the Traveler
  • Crimes
  • Prince Dwelly Loses
  • His Life
  • Charles Stetson Shot April 11, 1881
  • Marion Montgomery Kills His Son December 26, 1882

Sketch of Henry Pelham—1969-1754

  • From Memoirs of Henry Pelham, by William Coxe, Vol. 2, 301-304

Representatives to the General Court—502-503

Town Officers

  • Moderators of Annual Town Meetings
  • Town Clerks
  • Town Treasurers
  • Town Selectmen
  • 1763 to 1898 Inclusive

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New & Updated USA & Canada Vital Records Databases at

The following U.S.A. and Canada vital-records oriented databases have been recently added or updated at

We’ve also updated all of the GenealogyBlog Online Database Links Files.


NEW DatabaseAlabama, County Probate Records, 1830-1976Imaged Records – Collection of probate records, including case files and other documents created by the probate courts of various Alabama counties. Probates were generally recorded in the county of residence. This collection covers probate records created 1800-1930, but the content and time period of the records will vary by county. Files from Madison and Talladega counties have not been indexed, but are arranged in alphabetical order by the deceased’s name. Additional records may be added to this collection – 25,297 Records – 1,950,136 images as of 26 June 2012.

NEW DatabaseMichigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973Imaged Records – Probate records from county courthouses in Michigan. Most of the collection contains estate files. The content and time period varies by county. Some of the records date before 1837 when Michigan became a state – 1,261,323 images as of 28 June 2012.

Updated BrowseTexas Death, 1890-1976 (New Images)Imaged Records – Images of Texas statewide death certificates, including delayed certificates and probate obituaries, from the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin – Digital images of originals housed at the State Registrar Office in Austin, Texas – 4,476,649 images as of 28 June 2012. This database includes an updated browse that makes it much easier to find records – which are broken down by Record Type (Death Certificates, Foreign Deaths, and Probate obitiuaries) year range, then certificate by month and county.

NEW DatabasePennsylvania, Probate Records 1683-1994 Imaged Records – This collection includes probate records created in Pennsylvania counties. The records include wills, estate records and indexes -The records are broken down by county, and then by record type. Although not indexed by record, the collection includes the images of many indexes. 3,197,552 images as of 27 June 2012.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915Browsable Imaged Records & Searchable Records – This collection has several types of records: 1) Death certificate 2) Death register 3) Return of Death with a hospital certificate, physician’s certificate, and an undertaker’s certificate, and 4) Transit Permit with the permit to move a body and an undertaker’s certificate concerning the move. The records give the name of the deceased plus the date and place of death and/or burial. The records may also give the date and place of birth, names of parents and spouse, cause of death, and other information. – 2,442,468 records and 3,370,070 images as of 28 June 2012 – up 1,510,210 images since 22 March 2012.

United States Social Security Death Index – Name index to deaths recorded by the Social Security Administration beginning in 1962. Current as of May 31, 2012 – 91,621,466 records as of 2 July 2012.

New DATABASENova Scotia Vital Records 1763-1957 – Index created by the Nova Scotia Archives. Contains registered births 1864-1877 with some birth entries as early as 1810, delayed births 1836-1907, marriages 1763-1932, and deaths 1864-1877, 1908-1957 – 805,577 Records as of July 3, 2012.

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Illinois Family Donating Revolutionary War Artifacts to Fort Ticonderoga in New York

The following teaser is from an AP article published in the July 6, 2012 edition of

TICONDEROGA, N.Y. (AP) – An Illinois family is donating their ancestor’s Revolutionary War artifacts to Fort Ticonderoga.

Officials at Fort Ticonderoga say the engraved powder horn, musket and walking stick Amos Chaffee carried during the American Revolution will be formerly presented during a ceremony being held at the tourist attraction Saturday afternoon.

Hall Chaffee of Chicago says one of the reasons his family decided to donate the items to the fort is because Amos Chaffee served there in early 1777 with the Hampshire County, Mass., militia.

Read the full article.

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George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum Launches New Website

According to the news release posted at the NARA website, the National Archives’ George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum has posted a new website. I surfed a bit within the site, and am very exited about the amount of data (including documents) already posted there. You might wonder why I care… Well, George W. Bush and his father are the only US Presidents with whom I’ve ever been able to make a cousin-connection – so this new website is of interest genealogically.

The following is from the NARA pressroom:

Washington, DC – The National Archives’ George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum has launched its newly designed website: The website is hosted by Southern Methodist University (SMU), the site of the Library’s future facility and an important partner for the institution.

While the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is still under construction on the campus of SMU, visitors will be able to visit virtually through the new interactive website, which features highlighted documents and artifacts from the Library and Museum’s vast collections. Through a variety of online media and exhibit galleries, researchers and visitors will be able to explore the lives and careers of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, and the American Presidency in general. Educators and students will also be able to find resources and tools to use regarding the events of the Bush Administration.

The new website will give the public an early glimpse of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, one of thirteen Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, and will help visitors plan their visits and inform them of upcoming news and events in anticipation of the dedication in the spring of 2013. The website will also provide information regarding the Library’s partners, the George W. Bush Foundation and the George W. Bush Institute.

The National Archives invites the public to explore the new website and check back frequently throughout the year for updates.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at

The Presidential Libraries of the National Archives are not libraries in the usual sense. They are archives and museums, bringing together in one place the documents and artifacts of a President and his administration and presenting them to the public for study and discussion without regard for political considerations or affiliations. Presidential Libraries and Museums, like their holdings, belong to the American people. They promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience, preserving and providing access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.

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Bangor Museum and History Center Publishes “The Bangor Sanitary Fair Cookbook Bangor 1864″

The following excerpt is from an article posted in the July 5, 2012 edition of

Taste the Civil War as the Bangor Museum and History Center unveils “The Bangor Sanitary Fair Cookbook Bangor 1864.”

Established in 1862, “the Bangor Sanitary Commission … sent a lot of supplies to the [Maine] soldiers,” said BMHC Executive Director Jennifer Pictou. “They made blankets. They made towels, quilts. They sent wine, brandy, whiskey — always very important in war — jellies, and pickles, things that would make the trip” to Virginia or other southern states where Maine units were stationed.

According to Pictou, “the Bangor Sanitary Commission also held fundraisers” to purchase supplies needed by Maine soldiers. During a three-day Ladies’ Fair held in December 1864, the Bangor Sanitary Commission raised $15,000, “equivalent to about $220,000 today,” Pictou said.

Throughout the three days “they had dinners. They had items for auction. And they sold food. There was a lot of food, a lot of jellies, a lot of cakes, a lot of creams, a lot of different types of foods,” she said.

One unidentified woman painstakingly “wrote down all of the recipes that were sold at the Sanitary [Commission] fair. The collection of recipes found its way into a little book that is about 4 inches long by about 6 inches high. The opening page says, ‘Sanitary Fair Cookbook Bangor 1864,’” Pictou said.

Before the BMHC could publish the 1864 cookbook, Laurel McFarland volunteered to “update it for the modern cook.” She represents the Bangor-based Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen.

“A lot of the recipes were interesting because they were missing a lot of things that are found in traditional recipes today,” McFarland said.

“They don’t tell you the temperature to put the oven at, because it was a wood stove; there wasn’t a temperature,” she explained. “They don’t tell you a [cooking] time, because it depends on how hot your oven is; you just cook things until they’re done.”

Spending “a little over a month” recreating the book’s 99 recipes, McFarland “tested them and made sure the amounts made sense. It was interesting.”

Each “The Bangor Sanitary Fair Cookbook Bangor 1864” costs $12.00 apiece. The BMHC is also selling a commemorative bamboo baking spoon at $4 apiece, but the cookbook and spoon can be purchased together for $15.00.

To place an order, call the BMHC at (207) 942-1900 or email

Read the full article.

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Clark Veterans’ Cemetery in the Phillipines in Dire Need of Care

The following excerpt is from the 5 July 2012 edition of

MANILA — American war veterans in the Philippines are urging the U.S. Congress to pass a bill that would require Washington to repair and maintain a cemetery north of Manila where the graves of thousands of American servicemen and dependents have been covered in ash since a 1991 volcanic eruption.

The head of an American veterans’ group, Retired Army 1st Sgt. John Gilbert, said Wednesday that the neglect of Clark Veterans’ Cemetery is a disgrace to the memory of more than 8,000 U.S. servicemen and their dependents who are buried there.

The U.S. Air Force hastily abandoned Clark Air Base, where the cemetery is located, after Mount Pinatubo’s eruption. In 1994, American veterans were shocked to find the seven-hectare (17-acre) cemetery had become an ash-covered jungle of weeds, overgrown grass and debris with half of its old steel fence looted. They cleaned up the graves and have since struggled to maintain the cemetery through volunteer work and donations. Although the cemetery looks tidier today, about a foot (30 centimeters) of ash still covers it, partially burying tombstones and obscuring names, dates and epitaphs.

Read the full article.

See the Clark Veterans’ Cemetery Restoration Project website.

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So – What does the L.L. of L. L. Bean Fame Stand For?

The following teaser is from an article posted in the July 4, 2012 edition of

FREEPORT, Maine — He’s arguably Maine’s best-known native son, right up there with Civil War general Joshua Chamberlain, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and horror writer Stephen King. To his customers, he was simply known as “L.L.”

But as outdoors outfitter L.L. Bean celebrates its 100th anniversary, it’s still not 100 percent clear what the famous founder’s initials stood for. Was it Leon Leonwood Bean, as the company claimed for decades, or was it Leon Linwood Bean, as his grandson suggests?

The answer appears to be both.
Leon Gorman, L.L.’s grandson, said he was told that his grandfather was born Leon Linwood Bean and that it somehow morphed into Leon Leonwood Bean.

“There was some incident that happened years ago. I can’t remember what it was. They misspelled Leon’s name from Linwood to Leonwood,” Gorman, the company’s chairman, said. “L.L. was so taken by the new version of his middle name that he adopted it.”

His grave marker sheds no light on his middle-name preference; it says simply, “Leon L. Bean.” There’s no birth certificate, either.

In his autobiography, L.L. Bean talked about having a birth certificate, but no one knows where it is. Kim Sparks, town manager in Greenwood, where Bean was born, said a birth certificate can’t be located. And the state archives don’t have a copy, either.

Read the full article.

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Barry Landau Sentenced to 7 Years for Thefts From National Archives, Other Institutions

The following is from the NARA website:

June 27, 2012 – Washington, DC – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake today sentenced Barry H. Landau to seven years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and theft of historical documents from cultural institutions in four states, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York.

The items stolen from the Roosevelt Library, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration, were seven “reading copies” of speeches that Roosevelt delivered. They contained his edits and handwritten additions, along with his signature. They have all been recovered.

Landau’s co-conspirator, Jason Savedoff, will be sentenced at a later date.

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said he was pleased that Judge Blake “recognized the seriousness of this crime and meted out an appropriate punishment that will serve as a warning to others who may contemplate stealing our nation’s history.”

Ferriero added:
“There is a very special bond that forms between researchers and research institutions. It’s kind of like an insider’s club. We speak the same language, share the same interests, explore the same minute details of historical knowledge that will eventually fill in the fabric of our shared history as a nation.

“When a researcher turns out to be a thief and steals the documents that are the very underpinnings of our democracy, our trust and respect for the community is shaken.

“Barry Landau is just that thief. Dressed in the guise of a scholar, he ingratiated himself with our staff and stole priceless documents from the Franklin Roosevelt Library. In essence he robbed from all of us—our collective history. And he did far worse damage to numerous other research institutions around the country.”

Ferriero said that because of incidents such as those involving Landau, the National Archives and other research institutions around the world have become more vigilant over the last few decades. They have instituted a number of measures aimed at preventing theft, such as closed-circuit cameras, clean research room rules, exit searches, and increased staff surveillance.

“When a theft does occur, we rely on the Office of the Inspector General and the Justice Department to build a case and bring the perpetrator to justice,” he added. “I want to thank them for their hard work.”

Lynn Bassanese, Acting Director of the Roosevelt Library, recalled that when Roosevelt dedicated his library on June 30, 1941, he declared it an “act of faith” in the American people.

“Barry Landau and Jason Savedoff violated that faith by taking advantage of the trust and confidence that the Roosevelt Library’s staff has for its researchers,” she said.”With the successful return of the stolen documents, the Roosevelt Library renews its commitment to protect and preserve the records of the Roosevelt Presidency and to make them accessible to the American people for generations to come.”
According to Landau’s plea agreement, the “reading copies” of Roosevelt’s speeches were stolen when he and Savedoff visited the Roosevelt Library on December 2, 2010.

“Reading copies” are the actual copies of the speeches from which the President read. They contain edits and handwritten additions made by him and bear his signature.

Four of these “reading copies” of speeches were sold by Landau on December 20, 2010, to a collector for $35,000. Three other “reading copies” of inaugural addresses delivered by Roosevelt, valued at more than $100,000 each, were recovered from Landau’s apartment in New York City during court-authorized searches, including the water-stained reading copy of the inaugural address FDR delivered in a steady rain in 1937.

Judge Blake also ordered Landau to pay restitution totaling $46,525 to three dealers who purchased the stolen documents from Landau, not knowing they were stolen. She also ordered Landau to forfeit all the documents recovered during searches of his New York apartment.

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Search 65 Million Records from the Original 13 Colonies FREE at Through July 8

The following was received from – offering databases that include Revolutionary War records FREE through July 8.

Did your family fight for your freedom or work to establish our great nation? FREE through July 8th, make your connection to early American ancestors in nearly 65 million carefully selected historical records from the 13 original colonies and more, including:

• U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970
• Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900
• Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage & Death Announcements, 1851-2003
• And many more

Click Here to Search.

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Salt Lake Christmas Tour……………… Week’s Peek

How much 4th of July American history do you know??? Care to try some of the questions that appeared in American Profile (a supplement to our daily paper)??

1. We celebrate the Fourth of July to commemorate:  (a)  the day of the Continental Army’s victory at Yorktown;  (b) the adoption of the Declaration of Independence;  (c)  the first day the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia;  (d) the day the Constitution of the U.S. took effect.

2. Which of these North American cities is oldest?  (a) Montreal, Quebec;  (b)  Jamestown, VA;  (c) St.Augustine, FL;  (d) Plymouth, MA.

3. Which American Indian tribe has never been native to the Atlantic Coast?  (a) Wampanoag;  (b) Powhatan;  (c) Cherokee;  (d) Sioux.

4. What nearly destroyed the British colonies of New England in 1675-1676?  (a) King Philip’s War;  (b) French and Indian War;  (c) Boston Massacre;  (d) Barbary pirates.

5. Which city was the fist U.S. capital under the Constitution?  (a) Washington, DC;  (b) Philadelphia, PA;  (c) Boston, MA;  (d) New York, NY.

6.  The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are on permanent public display in what building in Washington, DC?  (a) Smithsonian Institution;  (b) National Archives;  (c) Library of Congress;  (d) Washington Monument.

And there were a dozen more questions but I’m curious how many you get right……………….  question: how can we teach our children to be good Americans if we don’t know our history ourselves?

Donna, aka Mother Hen, until next week………


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Tracing Your Limerick Ancestors

I first thought to introduce this book with a short poem of my own creation. However, I found the results to corny to share. So, in a far simpler introduction, let me just say this blog takes a look at a book specifically written to help genealogists find their Irish ancestors who lived in the county of Limerick. Yes, the poem was a limerick, a type of poetry named after the Irish county in question. The book, Tracing Your Limerick Ancestor by Margaret Franklin, is dedicated specifically to tracing one’s Limerick ancestors.

Within these pages the author covers many record types, but she also makes note of the main types most researchers will want to examine, as follows:

  • Records of Birth, Marriages, & Death (see Chapter 6: Civil Registration)
  • Church Records (see Chapter 5)
  • Tithe Applotment Books (1820s – 1830s)(see Chapter 3: Land Records)
  • Griffith’s Land Valuation (1852) (also Chapter 3)
  • The census of 1901 and 1911 (see Chapter 4: Census and Census Substitutes)

The author also notes, there are current publications that deal with genealogical records and research, which may prove useful. These are the Irish Genealogist Journal and Irish Roots.

Limerick is a large Irish county ranging from urban cities to rural agricultural areas. Genealogical resources can be found in all the varying areas in the county. This book provides a listing of the available records, where they can be accessed, and how they can be used. Limerick is the center county of the Munster province. When looking at Munster on the map, Limerick almost appears as the hub in a wheel.

The population of Limerick dropped by nearly 20% between 1841 and 1851, from approximately 330,000 to 262,000. The population continued to decline on through 1926. The population held steady for another 20 years then slid to an all time low of around 133,000 people in 1961. From there the population has begun to grow again. Like all areas in Ireland, there are more descendants of Irish blood living outside the country today than within. This is a major reason why this series of research guides can be so helpful to those outside of Ireland, as well as those living on the Emerald Isle.

Having access to Irish research guides published in Ireland has been a great boon to English speaking genealogists living outside of Ireland but having at least one Irish ancestor. In particular, the Tracing Your [Irish] Ancestors provides a wealth of information regarding not only national resources for family information, but also unique and varied sources on a county by county level. Each book represents a different county and serves as a stand alone research guide. Here is a list of the book we have already reviewed on this site:


Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Getting Started

Chapter 2. Administrative Divisions

Chapter 3. Land Records

Chapter 4. Census and Census Substitutes

Chapter 5. Church Records

Chapter 6. Civil Registration

Chapter 7. Wills, Administration and Marriage Licenses

Chapter 8. Grave Records and Inscriptions

Chapter 9. Newspapers

Chapter 10. Commercial Directories

Chapter 11. Family Histories

Chapter 12. Further Reading & Useful Sources

Chapter 13. Archives, Services & Addresses



Order a copy of Tracing Your Limerick Ancestor, or any of the other books in the series, from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: FLP013, Price: $18.95.

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Rhode Island Makes Adoption Records Available

The following excerpt is from the July 2, 2012 edition of

Rhode Island is making adoption records available for the first time to adults 25 years or older.

A state law adopted in September, 2011 has just taken effect, and on Monday, Governor Lincoln Chafee ceremoniously handed birth records to four adoptees, as dozens more looked on at an auditorium at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

“No matter what people find out, adult adoptees now have the access to the truth, and that is a very important step,” said Chafee.

Kara Foley of Providence campaigned for the change in the law that opened the birth records to adoptees.

“It means knowing who I am, it means looking like people, it means belonging to something, and it’s really the joining of both my birth family and my adoptive family, so it’s exciting,” said Foley, 27. Unlike some of the adoptees who were reading non-certified copies of their original birth certificates for the first time, she had already learned the names of her birth parents. She had already signed up on a website and helps adopted children reunite with their families, and within days, had found a sister that she did not know that she had.

“We reunited and it was awesome, and it’s been really good since,” Foley said, adding, “I just participated in my sister’s wedding on Friday.”

Gary Osbrey, 50, of Putnam, Connecticut was born in Providence, and started searching for his birth parents in 1998. He was very nearly overwhelmed with emotion when he opened an envelope to learn his birth name and that of his birth mother.

Read the full article.

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The Maryland State Archives is Out of Space

The following teaser is from

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – The Maryland State Archives collection is among the largest in the country with nearly 400 years of history, including Colonial-era paintings, keepsakes of the state’s governors, and thousands of land, court and genealogy records.
With all that history, the Archives has run out of space.

The agency first filled its Annapolis headquarters to capacity in 2000, then leased and filled a warehouse. It leased a second warehouse and a third before brokering a deal to store some of its property at the Baltimore City Archives.

All of the facilities are now full, and state archivists have been pushing for more space since 2005.

Agency officials say that the lack of space and “substandard” conditions at the warehouses have damaged some of the older items, and that employees are trying to avoid losing their grip on history.

“I hope that as the economy turns around we’re going to be able to request some more conservation money,” said Deputy State Archivist Tim Baker. “We really need to finally own up to our responsibility to take care of these treasures and store them adequately.”

Baker said well-maintained archives serve a valuable purpose in a democracy.

Read the full article.

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Planned Center for Family History Midway to its Fundraising Goal of $18 M for New Building in Chesterfield, MO

The following excerpt is from the July 1, 2012 edition of the Chesterfield Patch:

The Center for Family History, a project of the St. Louis County Library Foundation, is midway toward its fundraising goal of $18 million to begin building in Chesterfield.

“The Center is being built to house the genealogy collection of St. Louis County Library,” according to Barbara Turkington, the Assistant Director for Advancement for St. Louis County Library. The collection has more than 80,000 items.

The facility, in an rendering shown here, is planned for 57,000 square feet in size, and include a garden, 350-seat auditorium, venue for smaller gatherings, and a “Hall of Families” that would display the spirit and legend of companies and individuals throughout the Midwest.

Sachs Properties, the founder of modern Chesterfield, provided six acres near the corner of Baxter and Wild Horse Creek roads.

Read the full article.

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Research Guide to Loyalist Ancestors

Over the years, it has been heard many times on the news were an actor or other personality in the public limelight states that if such and such legislation passes, or if so and so is elected to office that this person would move to Canada or some other country. I am not recall any of these public figures ever making good on their promise to move. However, this was not always the case. Prior to the Revolutionary War, not everyone agreed with the separatists. There were many living in the American colonies who held their loyalties to king and country, to England. They were know as Loyalists. There were other names as well, Tories, British Supporters, Turn-Coats, Red Coats, Tar Babies, and others. By any name, as supporters of the British, they were counted as part of the losing side of the American Revolution. The “patriotic blood” that runs through the hearts of most Americans, may not have started as patriotically as one may have thought. Millions of American descend from Loyalist ancestors.

As the war broke out, many Loyalists were run off their lands and out of their homes. Many, fled to the British held, and Loyalists strong hold, New York City. As the war came to a close, thousands fled to Canada, England, and other diverse locations and countries. Research Guide to Loyalist Ancestors: A Directory to Archives, Manuscripts, Published and Electronic Sources, details the locations of Loyalists records around the world. Sources are listed in the book geographically. For each location, a listing of the holdings is provided, along with a bibliography of published sources for each geographic region.

The book also contains contact information for Loyalist historical and genealogical society. To discover one’s Loyalist ancestors should be considered an honor. Many stood for their beliefs, while their historically favored rebellious neighbors took to the streets in revolt. Consider the action on both sides as courageous and take charge in finding your Loyalist ancestors.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1 What! I Descend From a Loyalist!

Chapter 2 Canadian Sources

  • National Archives of Canada
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Cape Breton
  • Prince Edward Island
  • New Brunswick
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Yukon Territory
  • Northwest Territories
  • The United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada
  • the Canadian Heraldic Authority
  • Internet sources for Canadian Records & Loyalists Materials

Chapter 3 USA

  • The National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • Library of Congress
  • The Hereditary Order of Descendants of The Loyalists and Patriots of the American Revolution
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • New York
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Miscellaneous United States Archive Locations for Inquiries

Chapter 4 Other Countries Loyalists Settled At

  • England
  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Sierra Leone
  • Jamaica
  • Dominica
  • Islands of St. Vincent

Chapter 5 Loyalist Book Publishers & Books

  • Book Publishers
  • Books & Materials

Chapter 6 Laws & General Miscellaneous Loyalist Notation

  • The Godfrey–Millken Bill
  • American Indian Loyalist–Joseph Brant’s Volunteers
  • Lord Dorchester’s Proclamation
  • Notable Dates in Loyalists History

Chapter 7 Miscellaneous Loyalist Internet Sources & Locations


To help uncover your Loyalist ancestors, obtain a copy of Research Guide to Loyalist Ancestors: A Directory to Archives, Manuscripts, Published and Electronic Sources from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBB1425, Price: $18.62.

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