Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I first blogged about my grandfather's WW1 furlough papers back in 2007 but didn't discuss their content. So in commemoration of the start of WW1,I'm doing so now.
These are furlough papers for my grandfather Floyd E West, issued while he was serving at Camp Devens, Ma. during World War 1. It was granted on Nov. 29 1918 and on the
front side gives his rank as "Private 1st C Det Med Dep Base Hospital. The date he
was expected to report back is smudged and unreadable.

On the back side, there is a section on Pay and Rations I don't really understand, but
looking at the two dates in December I think he was supposed to be back from his
visit to Upton, Maine by December 10, 1918.

Lastly is the physical description, which says he is 25 years old, 5ft 5 1/2 inches tall
with "medium" complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. One of the things I was struck
by was that his signature was very much like that of my Dad, Floyd E West, Jr! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


In observance of the start of World War 1, this week I'll be reposting a series I did back in 2007 on my grandfather Floyd E West Sr's World War 1 service. This was posted on 17Dec 2007.

I mentioned back in July that Aunt Dot and I exchanged some
family research at my nephew Paul’s wedding. One of the items
she gave me was her childhood memories of my Dad. Another
item was a photocopy of my Grandfather West’s WW1 discharge
and his enlistment record as shown above.

I think the two papers were folded together which would explain
the dark lines across the pages. In the transcription below, I’ve
put a question mark after any entry I’m not certain about. I’ve
also italicized the handwritten information.

I received an email from my cousin Diana tonight as I was typing
this and in it she passed along information from Aunt Dot that
Pop was an orderly at the Camp Devens base hospital, that he
was only in for a short period before contracting double
pneumonia and that he was shipped home after his recovery.

I’ll have more to say on that after I’ve posted the transcription
of his discharge form.

In my reply to Diana, I remarked that today I realized that
between the service records and the memoir that Aunt Dot
gave me earlier this year I have learned more about Pop than
I ever knew before, and much more than I know about my
other grandfather!

Name: West, Floyd E. #2722093 Grade: Private First Class

Enlisted, or Inducted, Apr.29, 1918 , at So. Paris, Me.

Serving in First enlistment period at date of discharge.

Prior service:* none

Noncommissioned officer: none(?)

Marksmanship, gunner qualification or rating: not armed

Horsemanship: not mounted(?)

Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions: (left blank)

Knowledge of any vocation: Farmer

Wounds received in service: none

Physical condition when discharged: Good

Typhoid prophylaxis completed: ---------------

Paratyphoid prophylaxis completed: June 27/18

Married or single : Single

Character: Excellent

Remarks: No A.W.O.L. or absences under G.O. 45/1914.
This soldier entitled to travel pay.

Signature of soldier: Floyd E. West

John Burnette (?)1st St. M.C. U.S.A.Commanding Detachment

Friday, July 18, 2014


Just a reminder for the  Fourth Annual American Civil War Blogpost
Challenge that the submission deadline is August 2nd to honor the Battle
of Mobile Bay, Alabama, that began on  2Aug, 1864.

These are some ideas you could write about:

Did you have ancestors in America during the Civil War? If so, where were they
and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them and
their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of illness?
On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on BOTH sides?

How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find ways to help
the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern plantations
and if so when were they freed?  Or were they freemen of color who enlisted
to fight?

Have you visited a Civil War battlefield or monument to those who fought?
It could be connected to your family history, or just one that you've visited
at some point.

If your ancestors had not emigrated to America as yet, what was their life
like around the time of the Civil War?

The 150 year celebration of the Civil War is a great source for those of us
blogging about our family history. So, let's do a little research over the coming
weeks between now and August 2nd. Find out the answers to the questions
I asked and write about them. Or if you think of another topic to do with your
family history and the Civil War, write about that. Send me the link when you
publish it on your blog and I'll post all the links here on August 15th.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every
week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. This week my subject is my 10x great grandfather
Thomas Taylor.

Up until now I had no information about Thomas Taylor ither than the fact his wife
was named Elizabeth and that they were the parents of my ancestor, the exotically
named Seabred Taylor. I took note of the anniversary Seabred's death (14Jul 1714)
yesterday as part of my daily On This Date post on Facebook. I decided to see what
I could discover on the internet about Thomas. Regrettably, most of the hits I found
on Googlebooks were "Snippet" views. I did find this, though, in a family genealogy
of another family descended from him:

Thomas1 Taylor was b. about 1620 and first appears in New England at Charlestown where his wife Elizabeth was admitted to the First Church 8 Jan. 1638/9. He lived in Watertown, 1641-1649. He purchased a house and land in Reading (the part now Wakefield) of Sara, the daughter of Ralph Roote who received it by gift from Edward Whitfield of Reading and the General Court confirmed his title to it, 19 Oct. 1649. (Massachusetts Bay Records, 2: 283 and 3: 181.) His wife Elizabeth d. at Reading, 18 Jan. 1650. He called himself 36 yrs. of age in 1655/6 and d. at Reading, 29 Jan. 1690/1. His son (1) Seabred Taylor, b. at Watertown, 11 March 1642. (2) Thomas2 Taylor, Jr., b. before 1650; d. at Reading, 4 April 1691. (3) Benoni Taylor, d. at Reading, 18 Feb. 1650. The father was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 26 May 1647. His Watertown homestall he sold to Justinian Holden of Cambridge, 9 Nov. 1660.
 Descendants of Thomas Wellman of Lynn, Massachusetts  By Joshua Wyman Wellman, George Walter Chamberlain, Arthur Holbrook Wellman

So now I at least know he lived and died in Reading, Ma, and I now have a death
date that I verified at the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts website.

I discovered something else while Googling the family. As I said, I'm descended
from Seabred Taylor. I found this short entry:

According to the law establishing the Superior Court, it sat at Charlestown for Middlesex, on the 31st of January, 1693. Present, as appears by the record, all the justices.. The grand jury being sworn refused bills upon several presentments for witchcraft, and returned indictments against five only ; and these were called up and tried in the following order :—

Mary Toothaker, whose indictment has already been transcribed into these letters.

Mary Taylor, wife of Seabred Taylor of Reading. She was indicted for covenanting with the devil, and by writing her name upon a piece of birch bark in confirmation of said covenant.

Sarah Cole, wife of John Cole of Lynn ; indicted for afflicting one Mary Brown of Reading, on the 6th of September, 1692.

Lydia Dastin, of Reading. Indicted for afflicting Mary Marshall of Maiden, in May, the same year.

Sarah Dastin, of Reading ; indicted for tormenting Elizabeth Weston, a young woman of the same town.

Historical Letters on the First Charter of Massachusetts Government (Google eBook) by Abel Cushing  J. N. Bang, printer, 1839 - Massachusetts

So I have another accused witch in my family tree!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


There's about two weeks left until the submissions deadline for the first
Geneablogger's First World War Challenge. You can submit links to older
posts if you've already written about it. But if you haven't, here's some ideas
that might help:

Where your ancestors were in 1914, and what effect the war would have
on their families?

Did any of them see military action? Were any family members killed? Do you have any
photographs of them in uniform?

Did the War force your ancestors to leave their homes? Was it the reason they emigrated to another country? Where did they go?

Write a blogpost on any of the above, or something else about  World War 1 and your family. When it's posted, send me the link. If you have already written a blogpost that you'd like to use, then send me the link to that post.

 The deadline for submissions will be July29th, 2014. I'll publish the list of links here a week later on August 5th.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


 ((Today is the 290th anniversary of the death of my ancestor John Ames. First
    posted 9Jul 2012))

During the period of the colonial New England Indian Wars, summer was the
season when raids and casualties increased on both sides. As a consequence,
I've several ancestors who died violently in the summer months. One such was
my 8x great grandfather John Ames of Groton, Ma. John was no stranger to
deaths caused by the wars: his wife was Priscilla Kimball whose father
been killed when she was a child and who had been taken captive. So John
probably took precautions but it didn't save him. The incident was described by
the historian Samuel Abbott Green in his book Groton in the Indian Wars.(He
quotes several sources which excerpts I've boldfaced since Green omits
the quotations marks for some of them):.

"It was on Thursday, July 9, 1724, that John Ames was shot by an Indian, one of
a small party that attacked his garrison in the northwesterly part of the town.
Ames lived on the north side of the Nashua River, a short distance below the
Hollingsworth paper-mills. He is said to be the last person killed by an Indian
within the township. The Indian himself was immediately afterward shot by
Jacob Ames, one of John's sons. "The Boston Gazette," July 13, 1724, thus refers
to the event: —

A Man was kill'd last Week at Groton, by the Indians, and 't is suppos'd one 

Indian was kill'd by one of our Men in the Garrison; the Indians left their 
Packs, 5 in number, which were taken and secur'd by the English.

In the Gazette of July 27, it is said that " An Indian Scalp was brought to Town 

last Week from Groton."

"The New England Courant," July 13, 1724, reports that "Last week the Indians
kill'd a Man at Groton, and had one of their own Men very much wounded."
The same newspaper, in its issue of July 27, says that "The Scalp of an Indian
lately kill'd at Groton is brought to Town."

"The Boston News Letter," July 16, 1724, gives the following version: —

From Groton we are inform'd, That 5 Indians came into that Place, and kill'd
one Man, upon which one of our Men shot out of the Garrison and kill'd an
Indian and got his Scalp in order to bring to Town, and have likewise taken
the Indian Packs.

The same paper, of July 30, says that "An Indian Scalp from Groton was brought
in here last Week."

These accounts, taken in connection with Jacob Ames's petition, found in the
printed Journal of the' House of Representatives for November 20, 1724, and
herewith given, show conclusively that they relate to the assault in which
John Ames was killed. It is equally certain that Penhallow, in his History, refers
to the same attack when he speaks of the damage done at Groton in the
summer of 1724.

A Petition of Jacob Ames, shewing that he was one of the Weekly Scouts near
the Garrisons on the Westerly part of the Town of Groton; and on the Ninth Day
of July last, when it was the Petitioners Week to be on Duty, a Number of 

Indians appeared at the Garrison of the Petitioners Father John Ames, and 
killed him at the Gate, and then rush'd violently into the Garrison to surprise 
the People there. And the Petitioner did with Courage and Resolution by 
himself defend the Garrison,  and beat off the Indians, Slew one of them and 
Scalp'd him; praying, That altho' it happened to be his Week to be on Duty, 
that this Court would take the Premises  into their wise and serious 
Consideration, and grant what other Allowance more than the Establishment 
by Law, shall to them seem meet, for his aforesaid Service.  Read, and in 
Answer to this Petition. Resolved, That over and above the Fifteen rounds 
due to the Petitioner by Law, for recovering the said Scalp, and the good
Services done this Province thereby, the Sum of Fifteen Pounds be allowed 

and Paid out of the Publick Treasury to the said Jacob Ames for his good 
Service as aforesaid.

Sent up for Concurrence.

Mr. Butler, in his History, gives the following version of this affair, which was
gathered largely from grandchildren of the Ezra Farnsworth mentioned in it. 

The account was taken down in writing more than a hundred years after the
occurrence of the event, which will explain any inaccuracies due to tradition.
Mr. Butler refers the assault to a period much later than the actual fact: —

`An Indian had been seen, for several days, lurking about the town, it was
conjectured, upon some ill design. Mr. Ames, who lived on the intervale, on 

the west side of Nashua river, now owned by John Boynton, Esq., went into
his pasture to catch his horse. Discovering the Indian, he ran for his house; 
the Indian pursued and shot him as he entered his gate. The dead body 
prevented the gate's closing, as it would otherwise have done of itself, and 
the Indian pressed in to enter the house, where Ames had a son and daughter. 
The son seized his gun, and shot at him, as he entered the gate. The ball, 
striking the latch of the door, split, and one part of it wounded the Indian, 
but not severely. As the son attempted to close the door against the enemy, 
after the shot, the Indian thrust his foot in, and prevented. The son called 
to his sister to bring his father's gun from the bedside, and at the same 
time striking the Indian's foot with the breach of his gun, compelled him 
to withdraw it, and closed the door. While the Indian was in the act of 
reloading his gun, the young man found means to shoot through a 
crevice and killed him. Two men, at work about a mile distant in a 
mill, Ezra and Benjamin Farnsworth, hearing the reports of the guns,
and suspecting the cause thereof, were soon at the place, and found 

the bodies of Ames and the Indian both weltering in their blood. This 
is the last man killed by an Indian within the bounds of Groton. 
(Pages no, 111.)'

Mr. Butler says, in his History (page 100), that "in the summer of 1723,

one man was killed at Groton." I am inclined to think that this allusion 
is to John Ames, as I can find no other authority for the statement.

(Groton During the Indian Wars
Samuel Abbott Green pp131-133).

John was the son of accused witch Rebecca Blake Eames. The family didn't
seem to have much luck in those early days but fortunately it improved in
later generations.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every
week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. Since I recently posted about the death of my
ancestor Gershom Flagg, I thought for this week's post I'd cover his father, and my
10x great grandfather Thomas Flagg.

Ellery Bicknell Crane has this to say about Thomas:

Thomas Flagg came to this country with Richard Carver in 1637, embarking at Scratby, Norfolk, and was settled at Watertown as early as 1641. He had a homestall of six acres, also twenty acres originally granted July 25, 1636, to John Rose. Flagg was prominent 111 town affairs. He was selectman from 1671 to 1676, in 1678, 1681 and from 1685 to 1687. He was lieutenant of the military company. His petition dated April 4, 1659, shows that he lost his left eye by a gunshot wound. His wife Mary was born in England about 1619. Flagg died February 6, 1697-98. His will was dated March 5, 1697, and proved February 16, 1697-98. He bequeathed to his wife Mary; sons Michael, Thomas, Eleazer, Allen and Benjamin; daughters Mary and Elizabeth Bigelow and Rebecca Cooke; grandchildren John Flagg and the heirs of deceased son Gershom. The widow's will was proved April 21, 1703. The children of Thomas and Mary Flagg: 1. Gershom, born at Watertown, April 16, 1641, tanner at Woburn in 1668, lieutenant in King William's war and killed by Indians on the shore of Wheelwright's pond, July 6, 1690. Married, 1668, Hannah Leppingwell. 2. John, born June 14, 1643, resided at Watertown; married, 1670, Mary Gale. 3. Bartholomew, born at Watertown, February 23, 1644-45, served in Captain Samuel Moseley's company in King Philip's wer, 1675. 4. Thomas, born April 28, 1646, resided at Watertown and died 1719; married, 1667-68, Rebecca Dix. 5. William, born 164S, killed at Lancaster, August 22, 1675, while on guard duty in King Philip's war. 6. Michael, born March 23, 1650-51, one of the first proprietors of Worcester in 1674 at the first attempted settlement, soldier in King Philip's war; married Mary Bigelow and (second) Mary (Lawrence) Karle. 7. Eleazer, born May 14, 1653, see forward. 8. Elizabeth, born March 22, 1654-55, died August 9, 1729; married, 1676, Joshua Bigelow. 9. Mary, born January 14, 1656-57, died September 7, 1770; married, 1674, Samuel Bigelow. 10. Rebecca, born September 5, 1660, died 1721; married, 1679, Deacon Stephen Cook. II. Benjamin, born June 25, 1662, resided in Worcester, coming at the third settlement; married, 1689, Experience Child. 12. Allen, born May 16, 1665, died November, 1711; married, 1684-85, Sarah Ball.

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 3 (Google eBook) p381

When I was first starting work on my family tree I found some claims that Thomas' wife's
full name was Mary Gershom; hence the reason their oldest son was named Gershom Flagg. But I've found no evidence so far to back up that theory. Also, I've seen the name spelled as Flegg.


I'm finally getting around to the latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy
Seaver's Genea-Musings blog: 

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) What was your father's mother's name?

2) What is your father's mother's patrilineal line? That is, her father's father's father's ... back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?

3) Can you identify male sibling(s) of your father's mother, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)? If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that  patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further.

4)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, or in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook or Google Plus post.

Ok, here goes! 
1)My Dad's mother was Cora Berthella Barker, born 27 Oct 1899 at Bethel Me., died June 1987 at Errol, Coos, NH.

2) She was descended on both her patrilineal and matrilineal side from immigrant
ancestor Richard Barker who died at Andover Ma on 18Mar 1693. Here's the patrilineal
line of descent:

3)Cora had a half brother and three brothers:
    -Henry L Barker (1891-1969), the half brother, had a son Robert G Barker (1922-?)
    -Brother Frank W Barker  (1910-1979) had no children I can find record of as yet,
    -Brother Earl H Barker died in infancy in 1903.
    -Youngest brother Harry H. Barker (1905-1967) had one son, Percy Barker (1939-
      1985) for whom I've found no record of marriage or children.

Oh well, out of luck!