My Grandaughter’s Lidyoff Genealogy

As of last August 2019, I am the proud grandfather of Elora Pearl. Her father is a Lidyoff, so I thought that I would write a short Lidyoff genealogy. Here is Elora with my daughter and her father.

Elora’s Grandfather John

John appeared next to his future wife Joan in his Huntington Park High School Yearbook in 1969:


However, there were two John John Lidyoff’s which makes things confusing. The first one (not the John above) was actually a Lydoff and was born in 1949:

John J. Lydoff Jr. of Whittier, California, was born in Montebello, California on May 28, 1949 and passed away on March 20, 2012.

John is survived by his wife, Christine Lydoff and daughter, Kathryn Lydoff.; his parents, John and Jeanette Lydoff of Whittier and his sister Debra Valoff of Idaho.

He married Elora’s grandmother in 1972. John was the first in his direct line to marry a non-Russian. Here is another photo from Joan’s High School Yearbook:

The caption under the photo says Princess. That means that Elora is the granddaughter of a Princess.

John was the fourth generation of Lidyoff’s to have lived in the Los Angeles area. He moved his family to Washington State. In 1992 and 1993, John, Joan and their two children were listed as living in Port Hadlock, WA:




Elora’s Lidyoff Great-Grandfather John D Lidyoff

The findagrave website has John as John David Lidyoff:

He was buried in the Molokan Cemetery in 1975. Here is where the cemetery is:

Who Are the Molokans?

According to Wikipedia:

Molokan (RussianмолоканIPA: [məlɐˈkan] or молоканин, “dairy-eater”) is a member of various Spiritual Christian sects that evolved from Eastern Christianity in the East Slavic lands. Their traditions—especially dairy consumption during Christian fasts—did not conform to those of the Russian Orthodox Church, and they were regarded as heretics (sektanty). The term Molokan is an exonym used by their Orthodox neighbors; they tend to identify themselves as Spiritual Christians (духовные христиане dukhovnye khristiane).

Unlike the Protestant “reformists” of Western Europe, Molokans rejected conformity.[dubious ] There are almost as many different ways among Molokans as there are Molokans. Some built chapels for worship, kept sacraments, and revered saints and icons, while others (like Ikonobortsy, “icon-wrestlers”) discarded these practices in the pursuit of individual approaches to scripture. In general, they rejected the institutionalized formalism of Orthodoxy and denominations with similar doctrines in favor of more emphasis on “Original Christianity” as they understood it. They emphasized spirituality and spiritual practice; such sacramental practices as water baptism have been permitted only as tangible signs and symbols of more important spiritual truths.

Similar to Presbyterians among Protestants, and considered heretical by the Orthodox Church, they elect a council of dominant elders who preserve a sort of apostolic succession. Molokans had some practices similar to the European Quakers and Mennonites, such as pacifism, communal organization, spiritual meetings, and sub-groupings. But they arose in Russia together with the Doukhobors and Sabbatarians (also known as Subbotniks) and similar Spiritual Christian movements of Duhovnye Kristyanye and Ikonobortsy. They migrated into central Russia and Ukraine around the same time.

A further relevant exerpt:

19th to 20th centuries

From the intervention of Count Nikolay Zubov in 1795, Molokans (бесшапочники) were tolerated under Tsarina Catherine but constrained by strict rules imposed upon them intended to curb community growth.[3] Those who ignored the restrictions were punished in Tsarist Russia as heretics.[4] Molokan evangelists and missionaries suffered imprisonment, banishment and other forms of punishment. Prohibited from winning converts,[5] the Molokans were forced into endogamy. The government’s policy was to send the Molokans away from the center of Russia into the Caucasus (1833), and other outlying areas to prevent their having influence on other peasants; they were sent to ArmeniaAzerbaijan (1834), Ukraine (1830s), central Asia, and Siberia, where many communities have survived into the present.

It is said that, in 1900, despite the persecution there could have been about a half-million Spiritual Christians in the Russia empire. These figures appear, however, to be vastly exaggerated. In 1912, there were only 133,935 Molokane and 4,844 Pryguny counted in Russia (census of the Department of Spiritual Affairs; see Glenn Dynner: “Holy Dissent: Jewish and Christian Mystics in Eastern Europe”, 2011).

Fewer than one thousand Molokane fled Russia in the early 1900s (mostly 1905-1912), many of whom settled near other non-Orthodox immigrants from Russia in an ethnic enclave on and near Potrero HillSan Francisco, California, where they built a prayer hall in 1929. A second prayer hall was established near Sheridan, California to serve those scattered in Northern California. There was never a “Molokan Church” in Southern California.[6] Though some Spiritual Christian faith groups fled Russia in the early 1900s to avoid the military draft, all eligible Molokan boys registered for the Selective Service Act of 1917, but were disqualified as aliens who did not speak English. During World War II, 136 eligible American Molokan boys enlisted during World War II, and two were conscientious objectors.[7]

Being prohibited from winning converts under the laws of the Russian Empire, they adopted endogamy and were classified as an ethnic group under the Bolsheviks.

Here is John in 1920:

Presumably he is living on a farm as his father Dave is listed as a farmer in Escondido, CA.

The 1920 Census is interesting as it shows three generations of Lidyoff’s.

John married Vera in 1937:

In 1940, John and his father Dave were working for a beer brewer in San Antonio:

Dave was a bottler and John a general laborer while Hazel and and Vera were listed as walnut growers. Here is some more information from John’s Draft Card:


Here is where this branch of the LIdyoff family lived in 1940:

Here is the Maier Brewing Company:

The 1940 Census has John D Lidyoff living at 3404 Walnut Street.

Here is perhaps the same John D Lidyoff living in Huntington Beach, CA in 1959:

John D was living at 3413 Hill Street in 1962:

Boyle HIeghts above was a place associated with the Molokans.

David Paul Lidyoff – Born in Kars, Russia (Turkey) 1898

I found this photo of “Dave”:

Here is another photo from 1934:

This record is interesting as it lists his birthplace as Kars, Turkey and says thathe lived in Chile before coming to the US.

Here is Kars in present-day Turkey near the border of Georgia and Armenia:

Some more on Kars from Wikipedia:

Russian administration

The 1828 Russian siege of Kars (painter January Suchodolski).

In 1807 Kars successfully resisted an attack by the Russian Empire. During a break between the Russian campaigns in the region conducted against the Ottomans, in 1821, commander-in-chief Abbas Mirza of Qajar Iran occupied Kars,[23] further igniting the Ottoman-Persian War of 1821-1823. After another Russian siege in 1828 the city was surrendered by the Ottomans on June 23, 1828 to the Russian general Count Ivan Paskevich, 11,000 men becoming prisoners of war.[21] At the end of the war it returned to Ottoman control for diplomatic reasons, Russia gaining only two border forts. During the Crimean War an Ottoman garrison led by British officers including General William Fenwick Williams kept the Russians at bay during a protracted siege; but after the garrison had been devastated by cholera and food supplies had depleted, the town was surrendered to General Mouravieff in November 1855.[21]

The fortress was again stormed by the Russians in the Battle of Kars during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78[21] under generals Loris-Melikov and Ivan Lazarev. Following the war, Kars was transferred to Russia by the Treaty of San Stefano. Kars became the capital of the Kars Oblast (province), comprising the districts of Kars, ArdahanKaghisman, and Oltu,which was the most southwesterly extension of the Russian Transcaucasus.

From 1878 to 1881 more than 82,000 Muslims from formerly Ottoman-controlled territory migrated to the Ottoman Empire. Among those there were more than 11,000 people from the city of Kars. At the same time, many Armenians and Pontic Greeks (here usually called Caucasus Greeks) migrated to the region from the Ottoman Empire and other regions of Transcaucasia. According to the Russian census data, by 1897 Armenians formed 49.7%, Russians 26.3%, Caucasus Greeks 11.7%, Poles 5.3% and Turks 3.8%.[24]

My guess is that after the occupation of Kars, Russians would have been encouraged to move into the area. This would have been especially true of Molokans who were not so welcome in Russia proper. Here is Dave’s Declaration of Intention from 1937:

If this was right, Dave was quite hefty at 205 pounds and 5 feet 6 inches, though he looks quite muscular to me.

Here is Dave’s WWI Draft Registration Card:

A Short Sketch of Dave

From some of these public records, Dave was born in Kars Russia (now Turkey) in 1898. At some point the family apparently moved to Chile. The family traveled by wagon from Tiajuana, Mexico to San Ysidro, CA in 1908 when Dave was 10.

Here is the family in 1910. So this will be telling the story of Dave’s father Paul also:

Here Paul and Marcia have 8 children living. I count 14 living in this house. Here is Dave’s Military Registration card from 1918:

David spelled his name at that time as Lidyeaoff. Here is present day Aliso Street:

In 1920, Dave had his own farm next to his brother Jacob (Ion above?) and his father’s farm in Escondido, CA. By 1920, Dave was married and had one son, John. Here is a photo I found of Dave’s wife:

She is listed as Agafia Stephanovna Prohoroff. I can only assume that she took the more American name of Hazel C.

In 1930, Dave was a truck driver for a rubbish hauler. In 1940, Dave was a bottler for Maier Beer. Dave died 21 years later in 1961:

More On Agaphia

It turns out that Agaphia had some things in common with Dave:

Agaphia, who changed her name to Hazel, was also born in Kars, Russia. She came up through Tiajuana four years after Dave. and the couple married in 1916.

Pavel “Paul” Demetri Lidyoff Born About 1863 Russia

Paul was an important person as he was the one to bring the family to the United States from Russia. Pavel Demetri also went by Paul Martin. I have that Pavel or Paul was born in Tbilisi, which is the capitol of Georgia:

This information is from

Name aka Pavel Demetri Lidyoff or Paul Demetri, Paul Mitri

Parents: Demetri Lidyoff and Paula Martianova
Known children: Pavel and Stella

Spouse: Masha Sleven Pavloff (1861-1937)
Known children: Daniel, John, Jack, Susanna, Sarah, David, Josiah, Edward, Paul

The 1910 federal census shows that Paul was married 3 times; married 30 years to his wife, Marcia; living with his children: Sarah, David, Josiah, Pashka, Ion (Anna), Daniel (Proskovia). He immigrated in 1908.

He and his wife, Mary, were living at the time of the 1930 census, living in Los Angeles, CA with son Paul.

Records for Paul or Pavel are scarce. The first record that I know of for Paul is the 1910 US Census:

In 1910, Paul’s last name was listed as Lidaeff. He is listed as 50 years old, so born about 1860 and his was married for 30 years, so in about 1880. He was listed as an alien in 1910. Paul was a hostler in a stable in 1910.

In 1920, Paul was listed as Povil Lidyeaoff:

He was a farmer. He is now listed as 65, which means that he would have been born about 1855. The youngest is listed as Paul at 15. If these ages are right, Mary would have been about 48 at his birth.

Here is Paul in 1930:

Paul now owns his home. He is not working, so his son Paul is likely taking care of him. He is still listed as 65. He was 22 when he first married, so that would have been about 43 years prior or 1887 if the dates are right. Based on his age in 1930, he would have been born in 1865.

Paul died in 1937 of diabeters. He aslo had gangrene of the foot and arteriosclerosis.

Paul’s wife Mary died in 1939:

Her father is listed as Silver Pavoff and mother as Pearl Pavoff. I also have her last name as Paveloff. and Pavloff.

Here is a Lidyoff Tree:


Here is Paul’s family:

Daniel Ledieff Born 1886

We can learn some about Daniel through his Naturalization Papers:

For some reason, Daniel went by Ledieff. Here he was born in Alexandrovca, Russia, but later papers show that was the Region and he was actually born in Kars like his younger brother David Paul. Daniel married on 28 December 1905, so that gives some more detail. Likely the whole family was still in Kars at that time. Daniel immigrated in September 1908 while his younger brother Paul immigrated a little later in December 1908. Daniel was also quite hefty at 200 pounds.

Here is some more information from Daniel’s Natuarlization papers:

Daniel was apparently in Kars when it was annexed by Turkey and he retained his Russian nationality. Sometime between 1905 and 1908 he lived in Valapairiso, Chile.

As part of Daniel’s Naturalization process, a deposition was taken:

According to Ermil later caller Elmer:

Here is Delano:

Apparently Daniel was at church almost every Sunday:

Stepan’s testimony was similar:

John Paul Lidyoff Born 1888

John was in Ensanada prior to coming to the US. He emmigrated at the same time as his younger brother David Paul. It appears that the unmarried children of the elder Paul Martin and Masha/Mary arrived together on 2 December 1908. John was a deep sea fisherman who originally went by Joso Pel.

Susia Paul Lidyoff Born 1892

This is from Susia’s husband’s Naturalization Papers:

I’m not sure if this information is right as it seems to imply that Susia came to the US in 1899.

Sarah Lidyoff


Edward (Esai) Paul Lidyoff Born 1902

Edward’s story varies slightly from his siblings’:

He says he lived in Beuno Aires, Argentina prior to moving to the US.

I didn’t find much on Josiah LIdyoff.

Paul Pavel Paul LIdyoff Born 1905

I didn’t find many records for Paul:

Here is some information from Paul’s World War II Draft Registration:

I assume that Paul was born in Kars, Russia and left when he was quite young.

Here is a summary from another tree at Ancestry:

Obviously the tradition was to include the father’s name as the middle name. It looks like I missed Jack Paul Lidyoff. It is a bit confusing as Jack is normally a nickname for John. Also the numbers don’t add up as “Marcia” is listed as having had 9 children – eight living as of 1910. The list above has 9 children.

Jack Paul Lidyoff Born 1893

I don’t see Jack in the 1910 Census:

If he was born in 1893, he should have been about 17 in 1910.

The 1920 Census has a Jacob Lidyoff:

This would be the Jack above. He married Jennie about the time 1913. Here is some more on Jack:

According to the 1930 Census, Jack worked in the rubbish business.

Summary of the Early LIdyoffs

Here is some artwork from a 1924 Los Angeles Times article on the Molokans:

This branch of the Molokans were also called the Jumpers which had to do with their expression of the Holy Spirit. According to the Los Angeles Times article from 1924:

 This refers to the emotional manner in which they conduct themselves in religious services. Something like the old-fashioned camp meeting shouters they let the world at large know when they feel possessed of the spirit. 

According to the same article:

The Molokans rocked along for years until the Russo-Japanese war in 1904. Their conscientious objections to fighting brought them into disrepute with the Czar. Several hundred families left Russia, a majority of them settling in Los Angeles.

The Molokans who came to Los Angeles, like the Iowans of the present day, like it here. The climate was mild then as it is now. Oppression was unknown and they were left to their own devices. Again, like the Iowans, they wrote their friends about the wonders of Los Angeles. Scores of families, relatives and friends of the original settlers arrived between 1904 and 1908.

That would explain the timing of the leaving of the Lidyoff family. My sense is that the elder Paul Lidyoff kept a low profile. I have not found any record that Paul applied for US citizenship. Paul was likely a traditional Molokan who shunned interaction with the government. Paul married Masha or Mary around 1880 perhaps in Kars Russia (now Turkey). Paul appears to have had 9 children born in Russia. The eldest was Daniel who married in Russia before leaving. I did not find border crossing records for Paul or his wife, but I did find them for some of his children. I assume that they crossed the Mexico/US border as a family, but I don’t have the records to show it.

I assume that Paul would have wanted his children to remain in the old Russian Molokan ways. They had gone against the law many times in Russia to retain their beliefs. However, he would have found that the pull of the US culture would be pulling his children and grandchildren away from the old faith and ways.

The basic records I have for Paul are the 1910, 1920 and 1930 Census, his death and cemetery records and City directories. Here is Paul in 1914:

The family is listed as LIdoff here. Paul and David are at the same address and Daniel was at nearby 329 North Ancereson. I don’t think that there is a 329 Ancerson today, but the baloon below shows where North Anderson Street is today:

The next Directory from 1915 showed that the family moved to nearby Aliso Street.

1920, 1921 and 1924 San Diego Directory

Paul was listed as a rancher in 1920 living in San Marcos along with a Casey Lydoff:

Here are the “Lydoff’s” in 1921 and 1924 still living in San Marcos but now with a Jake:


1937 Directory for Los Angeles

Edward Paul and Paul are at Summit Avenue:

These families had a different spelling:

According to the Census David and Jack were in the rubbish business or what we would call the waste industry today.

1938 Directory for Los Angeles

By 1938, Paul was dead, but the Directory has not reflected that yet. Here Paul is shown as a peddler.

Again the rest of the family has a different spelling:

Edward Paul was also a peddler.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I tried to find out what I could of the Lidyoff Family
  • I traced them back to Kars, Turkey. Before that they possibly lived in Georgia, and before that perhaps the Ukraine and before that possibly Central Russia
  • I gave some information about the Molokan Religion
  • Before crossing the border from Mexico to Southern California, the family lived briefly in Chile.
  • The Lidyoff family joined a community of Molokans in Los Angeles where they stayed for several generations until Elora’s grandparents moved to Washington State.


My Daughter-In-Law’s Genealogy: Part 2

In my last post, I looked at my daughter-in-law Sarah’s Vezina heritage back to France. I also started looking at her Portuguese side. In this Blog, I’d like to look more into the Portuguese side. This is as far as I got in her tree for Sarah’s paternal side:

All the green leaves are hints. However, some are just directory listings. I have that all of Sarah’s paternal great-grandparents were born in Portugal. It would be nice to pin a specific place to these people.

Manuel Pimental Born 1890

I have that Manuel was a barber. Here in the 1930 Census. In that Census, I am interested in the Immigration year and Naturalization status for Manuel and his wife Mary or Maria:

Actually I need the family members also:

That is so I can make sure I have the right family in the 1920 Census:

The daughter Mary was born in Portugal. Now the immigration year is the same for Manuel and the two Marys wich makes more sense. Now the oldest three show as aliens. It may be that Manuel got his naturalization between 1920 and 1930.

In 1920, the family was living at 74 Hope Street in New Bedford:

From the Census, it appeared that many families were living at this address.

Manuel Pimental’s Naturalization

This should be the key to linking Manuel back tot he old country:


As a bonus, there is a photo of Sarah’s great-grandfather.

The Azores

I believe this is it. Perhaps JJ and Sarah will visit:

The population in 2011 was 436.

It appears that Sarah’s Pimental’s roots were in a remote village on a remote Island.

The naturalization record leads to a shipping record dated 15 April 1910 which can tell us a lot:

First, Maria appears to have been born when her mom was 15. Also the spelling here is Pimentel. I’m guessing that this was the original spelling. Manual’s signature seems to spell his name the same way on his Declaration of Intention above.

These columns can be helpful:

Manuel gave as a reference, his neighbor:

Here we also have the proper spelling of Achada that agrees with the Google Map above. The intended destination after arriving in New York was New Bedford.

Manuel arrived with $15. He noted that he had visited New Bedford twice before the current trip:

Once Manuel got to New Bedford, he planned on staying with his brother-in-law on Coggeshall Street:

Mother and daughter Maria were born in Achada:

On Manuel’s Declaration above he was said to be born in ‘Achado’. Here he appears to be born in Rehada. I’m not sure about the ‘R’. Perhaps they all say Achada but were written differently for some reason.

Records from the Azores

There are records from the Azores but they are difficult to read. I go to this website and find this form:

To get to Achada Baptisms, I made the following choices:

I have that Manuel was born on October 12, 1887:

According to the above, he was also married on his birthday October 12, 1893. According to the website, Manuel was born in 1886:

This cemetery is on Allen Street:

According to this web site on Azores Genealogy, I should be able to find out a lot of information from these records:


I tried looking at some of these records and was having trouble figuring them out. Perhaps marriage records would be easier as suggested above. However, the dates are a bit confusing. Maria is listed as 19 years old when she arrived in New York in 1910. If she married in 1903, she would have been about 12 or 13! Further, Maria’s birthdate is listed as August 30, 1893. Does that seem right? That means that I have a lot of information and dates, but are the dates accurate?

Some 1903 Marriage Discoveries

Here is marriage #4 for Achado:

I’m reading something like Maneul Rego Pimental and Dona Rosada ? Franco. Marriage #6 from November of the same year had a Maria Franco married to someone else, but was Franco her middle name?


Let’s concentrate on Marriage #4. Here is the Achado Church:

The first four lines of the marriage record appear to include the date and information about the Church:

Outubro is October in Portuguese, so the month is right. I don’t know how to read the day.

I would like to find out the names of the parents of Manuel and Dona (aka Maria). Here is my best guess for Manuel’s parents:

Legitimo means legitimate – or we may that Manuel was the natural son of Manuel Rego and Dona Maria de Lur. At least it looks like Lur.

That leaves this for Manuel’s wife’s parents:

Julio de Medeiros Franco and Dona Maria Rosa de Men? Unfortunately, the surname went on to another line. Here is the end of the record:

That would be Manuel’s signature I assume. The others are perhaps witnesses or even the priest? There is a lot of information on the record. I imagine that some information had to do with occupations. If Sarah has some Portuguese-speaking connections, we may get a better read on this record.

Azorean Baptismal Records

Now that I have broken the Portuguese record barrier by getting some basic information from a marriage record, I would like to find birth records for Maria aka Dona Rosa Franco and Manuel Rego Pimentel. I am guessing that the Rego could be an important hint due to the number of Portuguese Manuels.

A Possible Baptismal Record for Manuel Pimental

Here is Record #68 from October 1886:

In the margin, there is a note about America. However, the parents look different than for the marriage record above:

That means that either I had the wrong marriage above or more likely, I have the wrong baptismal record here.

Jose Mendes Born 1892

I’ll take a break from Sarah’s Pimental side and look at the Mendes side. Jose was Sarah’s great-grandfather:

In 1940, Jose was a weaver at the Sowle Mill living at 55 Collette Street.

There were more children on the next page.

Sowle was the Ancestry transcription. It was actually the Soule Mill on Sawyer Street:

Here are Collette Street and Sawyer Street on a map:

Jose’s WWII Draft Registration Card is helpful:

I am looking for Jose’s European roots. Here, he reports he is from Melo Portugal. Here is what Google Maps shows me for Melo:

The Draft Card also gives a different name for Jose’s wife. The Census had her as Elvira. Here she is Elrida. The 1930 Census shows much the same information. However, the immigration columns are important:

Jose, his wife and eldest daughter are listed as aliens. This also shows that Jose came to the US first and his wife and daughter came the next year which would not be unusual.

Next is the 1920 Census:

In 1920, Sarah’s grandmother Isabel was a baby. This shows that Jose had immigrated in 1916 and that he was an alien. They lived at 381 Coggeshall Street:

Here is 397 Coggeshall, so I guess the building is no longer there:

Here is Jose’s burial marker:

It looks like the Elvira name stuck for his wife. They were buried in St. John’s Cemetery where Manual Pimental was buried.

More on Jose Mendes

There area 10 trees at Ancestry that mention Jose Mendes. Two have parents for Jose:

Passenger Lists for Jose Mendes

This looks like Jose’s record:

This was from May 12, 1913 on the Caledonia. Note that Jose’s middle name was Augusto which is what the tree above had for Jose’s father.

Jose gave his last address as Mello Portugal. He lists wife Maria as his closest relative. I think it says her address is d’Annuciae? Sousa, Mello. His destination is New Bedford. The ship left from Scotland and landed in New York City. Jose’s plan was to stay with a friend on Coggeshall Street:

Jose was five foot three and gave his birthplace as Mello:

That is good news, because that menas that this WWI Draft Registration is also Sarah’s Jose:

However, Jose gives a different birthday here than he does on his WWII Draft Registration. Also here he gives Cambezes, Portugal as his birthplace. He also says he is single, so possibly there were two Jose Mendes? [Note: This was the wrong guy – see below.]

Three Joseph Mendes on Coggeshall Street

I was a little surprised to find three Joseph Mendes on Coggeshall Street in the 1919 New Bedford Directory:

Isn’t that confusing? Clearly Sarah’s Joseph was living at 381 Coggeshall Street. Soon after he moved to Collette Street because that is where we find the family in the 1925 Directory:

In the previous column there were a Jose and Joseph living on Coggeshall:

That means that the WWI Registration Card for Jose Ahes Mendes is not for Sarah’s great-grandfather. Also the shipping record for the Jose Augusto Mendes from Villa Cortez, Portugal was also the wrong person. I can weed out that record.

Here is the correct record again in context:

The second M in the column menas that Jose was married. The no and no meant he could not read or write. Antonio Viegias may have been a relative as Jose’s wife name was believed to be Elvira Conccica Viegas. However, his Portugal contact from this record appears to be his wife listed as

Maria d’Annuciaedo Souza. Confusing. He was from what looks to be Nabaes:

However, it is actually Nabais:

By the way, one of the other Joseph Mendes’ was from Vila Cortez Da Serra. Also note Melo not far from Nabais. Probably less than a mile and a half away. Here is a photo of Melo now that I’m sure I have the right place:

I’m sure the area is rich with history:

Melo is part of the municipality of Gouveia in the district of Guarda.

Melo was known for farming and historically for sheep and weaving. When Jose Mendes came to the New Bedford, he was listed as a weaver in a cotton mill there.

Melo Vital Records

FamilySearch has records here:

It looks like my only choice for Melo is the Parish of Santo Isidoro. I have that Jose was born on 5 March 1891, so let’s give that a shot:

When I choose Batismos, Matrimonios 1787-1910, I get this message:

It appears that I am out of luck as far as at-home research for Melo, Portugal.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was successful in getting Sarah’s Pimental line back to the Azores and her Mendes line back to Portugal.
  • Parish records exist online for the Azores but the specific records that I was looking for were difficult to find
  • I couldn’t find Parish records online for Melo, Portugal
  • Sarah had heard about her background from mainland Portugal but was unaware of here Azorean roots.
  • Both of these places look like they would be interesting to visit.


My Daughter-In-Law’s Genealogy

I have never looked into my daughter-in-law’s genealogy, but would like to do that now. Sarah is Portuguese and French Canadian. It would be nice to get back to Portugal and Canada with her heritage and find out some more about it. Sarah’s recent ancestry is in New Bedford. My ancestors were also immigrants to New Bedford but from England.

Starting Sarah’s Genealogy

I didn’t have to add a new tree for Sarah. I just added her onto my existing tree at Ancestry:

This is how far I got yesterday working through Ancestry on my phone. I blurred out some of Sarah’s mom’s information. I’ll have to ask Sarah more about her maternal grandparents. Sarah has roots in New Bedford as both her parents were born there.

Joseph Pimental

I lifted Ken’s parents from another Ancestry tree that focused in on the Mendes side. I checked with Sarah and it was right. Ken was born when his parents were older. Here is Ken’s father’s Joseph’s World War II Draft Registration:

He lived on Coffin Ave in New Bedford and named his mother as a contact.

The house on the right has a 194 on it.

Joseph worked at the Nonquitt Mills:

There was also a Census in 1940:

This Census tells us that Joseph’s parents were born in Portugal and that they owned their own house. There were two more children on the next page, so a total of 7 kids in 1940.

It looks like Manuel was a barber and Joseph was a cleaner at the factory in 1940.

Here is Joseph’s service record:

Sarah’s Mother’s Side

Sarah’s mother’s side is French Canadian. Sarah’s mother’s father was Joseph Roland Vezina. Here is young Roland in the 1940 Census:

He was living at 1012 Victoria Street in New Bedford. His father Roland was listed as a salesman for a baking company. The Census also says that Roland and Beatrice lived in Fall River in 1935.

This is the photo that Google maps has for that address:

Roland Vezina Sr

I’ll quickly jump back to Roland Vezina Sr. As per above, he was born in Fall River in 1910:

Both of Roland’s parents were born in Canada. Roland was from a large family:

They lived at 698 South Main Stree in Fall River in 1910:

Roland’s father George was listed as a tea merchant.

A Tale of Two George E Vezinas

George was born in Canada. Here is one page of his Naturalization records:

The good news about this record is that it gives his birth place. I think that he was from L’Ange Gardien. My first search for this place came up with this:

I may be way off on this based on the 1871 Census:

This shows George in St Michel, North Bellechasse.

That means that it would be a good idea to figure out where the place is listed on George’s Naturalization papers. Here is the 1881 Census:

I assume I have the right George here. It would help to have a marriage record or birth record for George. Fortunately, I found George’s baptismal record in L’Ange Gardien in 1862:

That means that the Census that I had for 1871 and 1881 showed the wrong George Vezina. Here is the right one in Salem in 1880:

Here is 144 Congress Street:

Further, we learn from George’s baptismal record that his mother’s full name was Marie Zoe Lefrancois.

Where Did the Vezinas Live in Canada? Looking for L’Ange Gardien

All indications point to L’Ange Gardien, but where exactly was this place? Here is a death record for an Albert Vezina. I assume that he was a priest:

He gives his birth place as Danville, Canada. Google Maps show Danville next to Asbestos Quebec:

Another trick is to look at the beginning of George’s baptismal book. This is a short book of about 12 pages:

This tells me that George was baptized in Montmorency. I had trouble finding a map of L’Ange Gardien.

This place is close to a tourist area which is the Montmorency Falls at Boischatel. I believe that Sarah’s husband, my son, has been there. L’Ange Gardien looks like a large place but it is not really. It is just highlighted on the map. Here is the view of L’Ange Gardien from the St. Lawrence River:

My French teacher wife tells me L’Ange Gardien means Guardian Angel.

Here are the Montmorency Falls:

In real life, they are more dramatic.

Here are some of Sarah’s ancestors so far:

I tried to pixelate some of the information for Sarah’s mother and grandmother as they are still alive. This shows out to two of Sarah’s third great-grandparents: Regis and Zoe.

More on the Vezina Family

Things are going pretty well, so I might as well see how far back I can get on the Vezina Line. Here is an 1860 marriage record for Regis, transcribed by Ancestry as Pregis – probably due to the handwriting.

This seems like a longer than usual marriage record.  Right now, I’m just following up on the Vezina line to see where it takes me. This marriage record gives the parents of Regis as Pierre and Elizabeth Côté. Here is Regis’ intention to become a citizen of the US:

Regis was a carpenter. Sometime between 1880 and 1887, the family moved from Salem to Fall River.

Pierre Vezina

On the marriage record above, Pierre is listed as Regis’ father. Here is Pierre’s marriage record from 1823:

This marriage took place at Chateau Richer:

According to Google Maps, Chateau is a small town not far from L’Ange Gardien:

At the time of Pierre’s marriage, he was a farmer.

Vezina in the 1700’s

From the marriage record above, Pierre’s father was also a Pierre. Pierre Vezina and Marie LaBerge married in 1795 in good old L’Ange Gardien:

This Pierre was the son of another Pierre Vesina. If the Pierre from the marriage record was 25 when he married, he would have been born around 1770. His mother’s name appears to be Marie-Anne Morray.

Next Pierre Vesina

Here is another marriage made in L’Ange Gardien:

This is the transcription. Here they have Marois for Marie Anne instead of the Morray I had guessed at from their son’s marriage record, but I think that is pretty close. I’m not coming up with a good guess for this Pierre’s mother:

However, I am getting Jean for the father. I have been waiting for the point where some of this information is written into books. This may be the point:

This shows Pierre as Pierre-Francois. The mother’s name that I couldn’t figure out was Marie Bernadine Roy. Notice that Vezina has gone to Vesina and now to Vesinat. It is not clear to me how the Tanguay Collection works, but my guess is that Francois was the father of Jean and another Pierre was the father of Francois. [Note: After further review, it appears that Pierre would be the father of Bernadine.]

Tracing Vesinats Back to the 1600’s

Now I am spoiled by the Tanguay Collection:

It looks like Francois who was born in 1681 had several children. This couple married in 1703:

That must be Francois’ signature above.

Here is the next Francois going back:

Here is another listing:

Now I see that the 1679 in bold must be the marriage date. I am not sure why there are two entries here. Here is some information from a website called Geni:

I assume that the reference to Cadet means the younger Francois as there appear to be two brothers named Francois.

La Rochelle

LaRochelle is an interesting place:

My understanding is that La Rochelle was a holdout of Protestant rebels. These rebels were besieged by the French government and starved. There was a TLC TV show called Who Do You Think You are? that highlighted this historical event. The show was about the ancestry of Tom Bergeron in Season 6, Episode 6. Here is one link that discusses the episode. Basically, Bergeron was surprised to find that he had a Protestant ancestor from La Rochelle. This ancestor converted to Catholicism amidst pressure and became a fille du roi. These were daughters of the king but not literally. They were women recruited to go to New France (Quebec) to help with the shortage of women there. It would be interesting to delve into Sarah’s La Rochelle connection sometime.

My Wife’s Vesina Connection

It turns out that my wife is connected on the Vesina side also. Her dad’s mother was French Canadian. Here is my wife’s paternal grandmother’s mother’s tree:

On the right is Marie Anne Vesina. Marie-Anne’s father Pierre was different than Sarah’s ancestor Pierre:

However, Pierre’s father was Francois Vesinat. Pierre Vesinat and Jeanne LeTartre married in 1701:

Two Francois Vesinats?

My interpretation of this Tanguay book is that there were two Francois Vesinats. My wife, Marie must be descended from the first (although I don’t see Pierre listed as a child) and my daughter-in-law descends from the second. The other thing is that both of these Francoises had Jacques as a father. That means that either there were two Jacques Vesinats or one Jacques who had two sons named Francois.

Here is one interpretation at Geneanet:

Putting It Together

My best guess is that Marie and Sarah are 10th cousins once removed going back to La Rochelle France.

That’s a lot of history.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I started with some basic genealogy on Sarah’s Portuguese side.
  • I quickly switched over to Sarah’s French Vezina/Vesina/Vesinat history. By the way, my wife tells me that an ‘s’ between two vowels is pronounced as a ‘z’. Perhaps that is why the Vesina name changed to Vezina.
  • Sarah’s Vezina family has deep roots in L’Ange Gardien, not far from the Montmorency Falls NE of Quebec City.
  • The first Vesinat to come to Quebec from France to Quebec was Jacques Vesinat. He was a master barrel maker which I am sure was an important trade in Quebec.
  • By using someone else’s work, I was able to get the Vezina Family back to La Rochelle, France. This was a hotbed of Protestantism. The French King squelched this movement for religious and political reasons in a brutal way.
  • I tried to connect Sarah’s genealogy to my wife’s as she has a Vesina in her ancestry. I ran into problems due to two apparent brothers both named Francois Vesinat. I came up with a likely connection for Sarah and Marie.
  • It would be a lot to fill out all of Sarah’s French Canadian ancestry. Sarah has two Frenh Canadian grandparents. At the level of Jacques Vesinat she would have over 2,000 French ancestors.
  • I’d like to look more at Sarah’s Portuguese ancestry to try to find out where in Portugal her ancestors lived.


My Pilgrim Connection to Kim

I have known Kim for quite a while. We both lived in Lexington, Massachusetts at the same time for a while and we both attended the same Church in Acushnet years ago. I recently posted a photo of the Mayflower leaving New Bedford Harbor and she told me that she descended from two of the Pilgrims, so I thought that I would look at that connection in this Blog.

My Cooke Connection with Kim

Kim says she has a connection to Pilgrim Francis Cooke through two of his daughters. Kim also gave me access to her Ancestry tree:

If I count correctly, Francis Cooke is Kim’s 10th great-grandparent. When I check my tree, Francis is also my 10th great-grandparent. I think that means that Kim and I are 11th cousins on this line. Here is my top-down look:

I can tell already that things may get complicated. I descend from John Cooke who married Sarah Warren. Kim tells me she descends from the Warren Pilgrim line also. Kim descends from Mary Cooke who was born about 20 years after John. John was probably born in Leyden and Mary saw her first light in Plymouth. I see in my Mayflower Families Book on the Cooke family that John had a falling out with the Pilgrims on theological issues and ended up in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This seemed to be an area of Massachusetts where dissenters ended up. Mary appears to have lived in Barnstable for a while where her husband John Thompson served in public office and she died in Middleborough.

The Next Cooke Generation

I’m going about this backwards as genealogy should properly go from the present to the past:


My ancestor Sarah Cooke married Arthur Hathaway and probably died in Dartmouth. Kim’s ancestor married Thomas Swift in Weymouth.

Speeding Up the Process

I had some problems getting all the ancestors onto an Excel Spreadsheet, but here is Kim’s side:

Kim’s line went west from New York to Ohio to Oregon. Here is my side:

My ancestors all stayed in the same general area. Plus I’m off a generation from Kim. That means we must be 11th cousins once removed.

Kim’s Richard Warren Connection

Kim’s connection to Richard Warren is through the wife of Thomas Swift above. Her name was Rachel Stockbridge:

On my side, I descend from Joseph Warren in my most direct path, but I also descend from Mary Warren his sister more than once. Then I already mentioned Sarah Warren above:

Here I color coded Kim’s line in orange. Here is the next generation:

My ancestors were all born in Plymouth. Kim’s ancestor Hannah was born in nearby Marshfield. Here is the next generation:

This is taking more work than our Cooke Tree. In the next generation, I add another branch:


Actually, I added two branches because I missed Joseph Bartlett back in 1639. Now I can say I’m related 6 ways to Richard Warren. I’ve got to get all of these ancestors down to Hannah Bradford. She is my second great grandmother who has all the Pilgrim ancestors. Next I’ll add what we had from the Cooke analysis above:

On the Warren side, Kim and I are 12th cousins. So we are 1/2 generation further out than on the Cooke line.

Here is the Warren Tree filled out:

This shows I have these relationships to Kim on the Warren line:

  • Once a 10th cousin twice removed
  • Three times an 11th cousin once removed
  • Two times a 12th cousin

Looking for Kim’s Other Cooke Ancestor

Kim told me she descended from two daughters of Francis Cooke. Kim’s other Cooke ancestor was Jane Cooke:

These two were born 22 years apart. I take it that her mom, Hester Mahieu was a robust woman and made it through many difficulties.

A Question of Genealogy

So far, I haven’t looked into any of the genealogy. The Mayflower Families Book on Francis Cooke brings Kim’s Jane Cooke line into question. Kim’s tree has Jacob Mitchell as the daughter of Jane Cooke. The Mayflower Book shows that Jane had Elizabeth, Thomas and Mary with Experience Mitchell. However, at some point, Jane dies and Experience Mitchell marries Mary. Mary’s last name is unknown as is her marriage date and Jane’s death date. So things are quite uncertain. The reason for assigning the last five children to Experience and Mary Mitchell is that there is a gap between Experience’s first three children and the last five.

Here is where Francis Cooke lived:

This is in the center of current day Plymouth. Here is what it looks like today:

The Cooke property was probably near the present-day Court House Museum which is the white building in the photo above.

Here is a map of where Richard Warren lived closer to the Harbor:


  • I’m related to Kim 6 ways on the Richard Warren Line
  • I’m related to Kim 1 way on the Francis Cooke Pilgrim Line. Kim had another potential Cooke ancestor, but that ancestor has not been verified.
  • I showed where Francis Cooke and Richard Warren lived on Leydon Street
  • Francis Cooke and Richard Warren must have known each other. Also their children who Kim and I descended from must have known each other and probably down to the next generation. At some point I’m sure they lost touch.
  • I’m sure I have these Pilgrim connections going back 400 years with other people that I know who live in the area. Kim was more of a surprise as she did not grow up in Plymouth County.





My Nicholson Ancestors in Liverpool

I was recently looking up information on my mother’s grandmother Annie Nicholson and found a baptismal record for her and her sister Agnes from Liverpool. In that record, her father was listed as a saw maker. This was too much of a coincidence not to be true.

Nicholson Genealogy

Here is what I have at my Nicholson Web Page:

Ann is child 3 and Agnes is child for. This information is now probably wrong as I have them both being born in Sheffield. I had just assumed that they were born there as the Nicholson family history went back quite a ways in Sheffield. My assumption was that they emmigrated from Sheffield to Philiadelphia.

From Sheffield to Liverpool

The time that the Nicholson family was in Liverpool was not caught on the Census as the family was in Sheffield in 1861:


Parkwood Springs was part of Brightside:

It looks like Brightside is actually to the West of where I circled. At this time, William and Martha had a daughter who was 9 months old.

Not too long after the 1861 Census which was taken on April 7, the family moved to Liverpool. Sarah Ann was baptized there on January 19, 1862. I can’t make out William Nicholson’s profession other than he was a saw maker:

[Based on my research below, this says Fontenoy Street where the family lived in Liverpool before they moved to Bootle. ] This record is taken from the Bishop’s Transcript. That means that it was copied from another record. Sarah Ann’s sister Emma was baptized on the same day:

Here is a drawing of the downtown Liverpool St Peter’s Church from 1800:


My assumption is that Sarah Ann was born in Sheffield and Emma was born in Liverpool.

Ann Eliza and Agnes D

Ann Eliza was my great grandmother. Here is her baptismal record from St. Peter from 1865:

Ann Eliza was born in March and baptized in August. Also of interest is that the family lived in “Bootle”. Or Booth. But it looks like Bootle to me. Maybe the Beatles lived there. Bootle. Beatle. Here is Bootle to the North of Liverpool:

Bootle appears to be a little less than a mile from downtown Liverpool. My guess is that Ann Eliza and Agnes were born in Bootle.

Here is the baptismal record for Agnes:

This took place also at St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool on March 9, 1869.

From Bootle to Philadelphia

There was a tight time-frame for the family getting from Sheffield to Bootle. Now there was another tight time-frame for the Nicholson family moving to Philiadelphia. Here is the ship record for Martha and her children when they arrived in New York City:

William was likely already in Philadelphia at this time. Also it is interesting that Ann went by Eliza at this time. This record tells a story. Martha here traveling without her husband and her four girls from Liverpool to Queensland to New York City. From there they must have gone to Ellis Island and then made their way to Philadelphia where William must have prepared a place for them. My guess is that William missed the US Census that was held on June 1, 1870. However, according to the 1900 Census, William immigrated in 1868:

Let’s see what the 1910 Census says:

This shows he immigrated in 1870, and that he is naturalized. His wife also has an immigration date which doesn’t make sense as she is shown as being born in Pennsylvania.

Some More Parish Records from St Peter’s in Liverpool

My research friend in England reminded me that the Lancashire Online Parish Registers covers LIverpool. So I took a look there. Here is a confusing entry:

This looks like William and Martha were living in Liverpool in 1860 when Maria Baxter Nicholson was baptized. Here is a photo from 1901 of Fontenoy Street:

Here is an 1860 map showing Fontenoy Street:

Here is a modern map including the Beatles Statue:

However, the 1861 Census shows that my ancestors were living in Sheffield. William and Martha were married in 1856, so that would have given them time to have a daughter born in 1858. I can’t think that there were too many saw makers named William Nicholson who were married to a Martha who baptized their children in the same Church (St Peter, Liverpool).

Here is Maria in the 1861 Census in Liverpool The Baxters and others were living at 25 Fontenoy Street:

I might as well get more confused. Here Maria is a boarder or lodger at the house of William Baxter who is also a saw maker. Living in the house was Ann Ellis widow aged 66. So did William move back to Sheffield and say, “William take care of my daughter who I named after you”? And who is Ann Ellis? Martha’s mother was Nancy Roebuck born in 1795, so this could be the same person. That means that Ann Baxter must be Ann Ellis born about 1822:

This could also explain the Sheffield/Liverpool connection.

I see I left an important detail from the Baxter 1861 Census. That is where everyone was born:

Everyone in that Census was born in Sheffield except for Ann Ellis who was born in Thorne.  I have that my ancestor Nancy Ellis was born in Thorne, so this makes sense. That is what I like about the Census. It shows a lot of family relationships and gives a lot of information in a little space.

William Baxter and Ann Ellis

I feel I have enough information to go on to make a case that William Baxter’s wife Ann was actually Ann Ellis. Here is the family in 1851 in Nether Hallam to the West of Sheffield:

William was listed as a saw smith.

More On Ann Roebuck Ellis

Here is Ann in 1871 back in Sheffield:

Ann is listed as a lodger with Elizabeth Roebuck. As Elizabeth is listed as widowed, she could be a sister-in-law. Elizabeth is listed as born in Sheffield and Ann in Thorne.

What I Have Learned So Far

Perhaps a chronology would help

  • April 1858 Maria Baxter born to William Nicholson and Martha Ellis in Sheffield
  • June 1860 Sarah Ann born to William Nicholson and Martha Ellis in Sheffield
  • August 1860 Maria Baxter Nicholson Baptized, Liverpool
  • 1861 Census William, Martha and Sarah Ann living in Sheffield
  • 1861 Maria Baxter Nicholson living with Uncle William Baxter, Aunt Ann Ellis Baxter and grandmother Ann (Nancy) Roebuck Ellis
  • So it is not clear whether William and Martha Nicholson were present at the baptism of their daughter Maria Baxter. I had assumed that they were.
  • Dec 1861 – Emma Nicholson born, probably in Liverpool.
  • Jan 19, 1862 – Emma Nicholson baptized at St Peter’s in Liverpool.
  • Jan 19, 1862 – Sarah Ann Nicholson baptized at St Peter’s  in Liverpool. Emma’s and Sarah’s address is given as Fontenoy Street, Liverpool.
  • March 1865 – Birth of Ann Eliza Nicholson presumed in Boote, Lancashire.
  • August 1865 – Baptism of Ann Eliza at St Peter’s, Liverpool
  • Feb 1869 – Birth of Agnes D Nicholson in Bootle
  • March 1869 – Baptism of Agnes D at St. Peter’s, Liverpool
  • Nov 1870 – Martha Nicholson travels from Liverpool to New York City with her four daughters: Sarah Ann, Emma, Eliza and Agnes. The girls are between the ages of  and 11.
  • 1871 – Martha’s mother Ann Roebuck Ellis now 76 years old is living with Elizabeth Roebuck in North Sheffield.

That seems to summarize about 13 eventful years for the Nicholson family.

A Few Loose Ends

I haven’t found William Nicholson’s shipping record or naturalization records. This may be Maria’s death record from 1866:

Though the family should have been in Bootle by then.

I found out some things about Ann Ellis. I could fill more blanks in with her or her siblings. Here are her siblings:

Summary and Conclusions

  • While I was filling in my brother’s maternal side ancestry for DNA testing, I came upon a few interesting records that indicated my Nicholson ancestors may have lived in Liverpool before moving from Sheffield to Philadelphia
  • I checked the records and they did live there. In fact, my great grandmother Ann Eliza and four of her sisters were baptized in Liverpool.
  • I also found my third great grandmother living in Liverpool with William and Ann Baxter in 1861. This Ann was probably Ann Ellis, Martha Ellis Nicholson’s older sister. For some reason Willliam and Martha Nicholson’s youngest daughter was living in the Baxter house also in 1861 while William and Martha were in Sheffield with their infant second daughter.
  • I left with some follow up work to fill in some of the blanks.
  • I didn’ know last week that I had something in common with the Beatles. Now I know that I do.



Figuring Out a Frazer Photo From Ballindoon, County Sligo

Recently I posted a photo at the Frazers of Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim Facebook Page. Joanna who started the Page asked me if I could identify the people in the photo. That is a fair question, so I thought that I would give it a shot in the Blog. Also other may chime in. Here is the photo:

I got this photo when I visited Eileen McMaster Frazer in Ballindoon in County Sligo. She generously loaned it to me so I could make a copy.  It looks like the photo has been folded in the past and that someone scribbled on the face of George Frazer, the father. Here is what I have at my web page:

For some reason, these children are out of order.

The Two Girls in the Photo

I show above that there were only two daughters in this family and the rest were boys. That means that it should be easier to start with the girls. My assumption is that as the family had two girls and that there are two girls in the photo that these two girls are:

  • Violet Frances born 1872 and
  • Susan Jane born 1887

That tells us that Violet was about 15 years older than Susan. First, I need to get the Frazer children in chronological order.

Fixing My Frazer Ancestry Tree

Fixing trees is always good:

This is better, but I have no date for George Frazer. I suspect that George Russell Frazer died in 1875:

Perhaps George Russell was named after his uncle:

George William’s older sister Sidney or Sydney married John George Russell in 1869.

Here is a better list:

I’m just missing death dates for William and Susan. So far, this tells, me that out of the six children in the photo, I know that George Russell Frazer had passed away and that my great-grandfather was in the US. He arrived in the US in 1887.

Back to Violet Frances and Susan Jane Frazer

This is my top choice for Susan:

Joanna’s tree has Susan born 27 Oct 1886.  How old is Susan here? If I guess 12, then Violet would be 27. That would also date the photo at about 1899. But then there is a younger person with George and Margaret. I have that Susan was the youngest. If she is the youngest, then is that a grandchild with George and Margaret?

This appears to be a boy to me.

Violet Frances Frazer 1872-1934

I was told by a relative that this is Violet on her wedding day:

Violet married on 7 Jan 1901. That would mean that Violet was 28 in the above photo.

In the other photo, the person who I assume to be Violet is on the crease:

So I’ve gotten myself into a pickle.

Where Were the Frazer Children in 1899?

One guess is that the photo I’m looking at was taken in 1899. Where were all the children around that time? There was a Census in the US in 1900 and one in Ireland in 1901, so that might help. I know that my great-grandfather James Archibald Frazer was in the US at the time. Here is James in the 1899 Boston Directory:

William Frazer

William Frazer married Amanda Skoog in Boston in 1910:

He must have been living with my great-grandfather James then as James had a house at 35 Alaska Street in Boston. It looks like William and Richard made their way to Boston in 1896:

They planned to stay with their brother in Boston:

So that makes me think that neither William nor Richard were in the photo in Ballindoon.

Frazers in Ireland

So that leaves these potential children in the photo:

We know that Violet was in Ireland as she married there in January 1901. Next is Hubert.

Hubert Frazer 1878-1954

Hubert made his way to Boston in 1901. So he could be in the photo. It looks like William and Richard went to Ireland to bring him to Boston:

Both these ships left from Queenstown which is current Cobh, Ireland:

Which One is Hubert?

That leaves me with these two choices for Hubert:

Then that leads me to this photo:

I’m not sure who labelled this photo, but if they were right, it would appear that Hubert is in the upper right. Here is my version of the same photo:


My vote for Hubert is on the left in the photo of this Blog:

Because Hubert and George were close in age, I guess the the brother on the right was George:

If the photo was in 1899, then George would have been 20 and Hubert would have been 21. That seems possible to me.

John Edward Frazer 1882-1870

Here is where I run into a problem. If the next boy was John Edward and the photo was taken in 1899, then John Edward would have to be 17 years old. The boy on the left doesn’t look 17 to me.

According to the 1911 Census:

Edward is 21 so he would have been born about 1890. The 1911 Census further indicates that Edward is younger than Susan:

This is consistent with the 1901 Census:

That means that I need to adjust the birth date for John Edward. The website agrees with a later birth date:

That gives me a revised birth order:

My Current Guess

I have tried to identify these six children previously. This time I went into a little more depth in identifying them.

Hopefully, I came up with the same answer last time.

More on the Dating: 1897?

Now that I have identified John Edward, I would like to date the photo on him. My original guess for the photo was 1899 on how old I thought Susan Jane might be. Here is a chart using 1897 as a possibility:

John Edward looks fairly young. He seems sort of clingy. I’m not sure a 10 year old would be that way. That would put Susan at 10. She looks fairly tall, though girls can can tend to grow faster than boys. David is looking to me like a young 13. George and Hubert at 18 and 19 doesn’t look wrong. Violet at 25 could be right also. One temptation would be to say that everyone was dressed up for Violet’s wedding. However, that doesn’t seem to make sense given the look of  the age of the children.

More on David Frazer 1884-1953

Violet Frazer married James Fairbanks in January 1901. That means that David would have been about four months short of being 17 years old:

Also David is wearing the same style of boots tucked into his pants as in the earlier photo. According to this ship record, David made his way to Boston in November 1912. David is the second person on the list.

This record shows that David had previously been in Boston in July of that year.

A Frazer Chronology

With all that was going on with this family, it would be interesting to do a chronology. This may tell an interesting story. It appears that George moved to Ballindoon in 1866:

Charles Sproule was living in Lot 5a. His name is crossed out on the sheet and George Frazer’s name is added. In the right column titled Observations is 66 which I take to mean 1866. This was probably right around the time he married Margaret McMaster who was from the area and before my great-grandfather James Frazer was born. I was told that the previous person occupying the house could not afford to live there. The Immediate Lessor is listed as John Gethen.

George Frazer 1879-1960

For some reason I am having trouble finding some records for George Frazer in the Irish Census and for his marriage.  However, Frazer researcher Joanna has these records in her tree:

George helped out his Aunt Isabella Frazer at the Derrycashel farm:

George took over the Derrycashel farm in 1917. He had five children that were presumably born at that location.

David Frazer 1884-1953

I seem to be missing some information on David Frazer also. We have two photos of David. The second was taken around the time of the 1901 Census:

According to this record, David married in 1915 in Norwood:

Here is David’s petition for naturalization:

Here he says he arrived in the US in 1908. David’s petition was signed by his brother James and Robert McMaster:

I’m curious as to who this Robert McMaster is. Here is a Robert McMaster who is a Chef in Boston on 1910:

Here is Robert on one of my web pages:

Here is Dereentunny in Roscommon near the County Sligo border:

Ballindoon is to the NE of Lough Arrow. Another interesting thing about Robert is that he stated his intentions to be a citizen in the State of Michigan:

This next record shows that Robert went back to Ireland and traveled with some of his Johnston relatives in 1912:

Robert lists a John McMaster in Ireland that he visited. This was probably his brother John James McMaster born 1858.

Back to David Frazer After a McMaster Detour

David had a daughter named Eleanor Maude Frazer. One reference has her mother as Annie Gray which doesn’t seem right:

I believe that David death certificate also has Annie Gray as David’s mother, so there is some confusion. Eleanor’s mother should be Eleanor Taylor Frazer:

David is shown on the previous page of the 1920 Census. Here is a definitive record:

More on John Edward Frazer 1889-1970

John Edward was the little boy in the photo. He married Margaret Lillie McMaster in 1917 and had a daughter Lily Margaret Frazer in 1918 in Ballindoon. That same year, John Edward’s wife died. John Edward married Waitie Covell in New Hampshire in 1931. John Edward who usually wend by Edward died in Marlborough, Massachusetts in 1970.

Here is Edward in 1940:

Edward was a cook at a private school in 1940. I’m curiouis who Walter Stanley was. In 1935, he was living in Ballindoon. This was actually Walter Stanley Frazer, son of William Frazer and Amanda Skoog. According to the 1940 Census, Edward was naturalized.

At 5 foot 11 inches, Edward is no longer the little boy standing between his parents. Edward is living at 38 Batavia Street. That sounds familiar. I’m guessing this was Edward in the 1923 Directory:

Unfortunately, I can’t find Dover or Batavia in a current Google search. Here in 1926, Edward was in Roxbury:

There was also another Edward Frazer who was a fireman in East Boston at the time.

Apparently Batavia Street is now Symphony Road:

Apparently Dover Street is now East Berkeley Street:

However, there was an Edward Frazer who was a cook at Dover Street in the 1920 Directory. Edward’s petition says he showed up in the US in 1922. Here is the other cook Edward Frazer who was born in Rhode Island shown in the 1920 Census:

Forest Street in Roxbury would have been near where my great-grandfather James lived:

Here is more Naturalization information:

Edward is listed as a chef living at 26 Montrose Street, Boston in 1928. The affidavits were signed by Edward’s brother, my great-grandfather and Edward’s nephew George Frazer:

James’ son George Frazer was born in 1896, so he was actually a little less than three years older than his Uncle Edward. This shows that Edward had a close relationship with my great-grandfather’s family.

In fact, James lived at 26 Montrose Street in 1927, so Edward must have been living with him at the time.

I believe that was this house that I have a photo of:

This looks to be the same house today:

In the older photo there was a porch over the entranceway. Here is another view:

When Edward arrived in New York City from Ireland, he was 33 years old. Edward gives this for his nearest relative in Ireland:

He also knew that he was headed for Roxbury in Boston.

Edward appears to have a lot more money than the average traveler if the handwritten amount is right The story I heard was that my great-grandfather was sending money back to help get his brothers to the US. Interesting to note also that Edward intended to stay in the US for 10 years.

The Chronology

Here is what I have up to 1900:



The last entry was meant to be 1975. I have something in every decade except for the 1850’s. This would have been during the height of the potato famine. Margaret McMaster had these siblings born around that time:

Summary and Conclusions

  • They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I have proved that to be true in this blog two times over.
  • I feel as though I have been able to identify each person in the photo.
  • This lead me to identify David Frazer in the Frances Violet Frazer wedding photo.
  • I also updated some information on each of the children of George William Frazer and Margaret McMaster
  • I came up with a timeline of what was going on in Ireland and in the US.

Here is a color-coded timeline:

Addendum – William Goes Back to Ireland

This was an important event. On the 8th of February 1919, William and his family arrived in Liverpool on their way to Ballindoon with his wife Amanda and three children after sailing from Portland, Maine:

This brings up another point. I don’t have Elsie in my tree. She was born 30 Jun 1914 in Mansfield, Massachusetts:

The William Frazer story is quite compelling. William moved to the Boston area in 1896. After living in the US for 18 years, he decides to go back to Ireland with his now American family. In a sense, he went against the trend and against those staying in the US for economic improvement. He left his new friends and family in the US for his parents and family in Ireland and a simpler but more difficult economic situation.

Addendum #2 – Telling the Stories

  • George William Frazer and Margaret McMaster – They remained on the farm in Ballindoon. In 1901, they have David, Susan and John Edward at 16, 14 and 12 helping out on the farm. In 1911, George William is listed as 75 and Susan and Edward are with them listed as 23 and 21. Susan and Edward each married in 1918. Edward has a daughter born May 1918 but Edward’s wife dies less than a month after the birth of their daughter. In February 1919, George and Margaret’s second oldest son William returns to the farm in Ballindoon with his wife and young family. Edward’s infant daughter Lilly dies within days of the return of William Frazer and family. Edward leaves Ireland for Boston in 1922 two months after the death of his mother. George Frazer the father lives to an old age until 1928.
  • Violet Frances (1872) She married James Fairbanks in 1901. After marriage, she went to live on James’ mother’s farm in Drumvoney, County Sligo. I have that she had four children and died in County Sligo in 1934. Violet’s husband James died in 1912.
  • Hubert (1878) – He came to the US in 1901 shortly after his sister Violet married. He married Annie McKinnon in 1917. He had three boys and two girls and became a store owner in Squantum, Quincy, Massachusetts.
  • George (1879) – He moved in with his Aunt Isabella and worked his grandfather’s farm in Derrycashel, County Roscommon. He married Annie Craig in 1915 and had one girl and three boys and died in 1960.
  • David (1884) – He arrived in the US in 1908. He married Eleanor (Elsie) Taylor in 1915 and had a daughter born in 1919 in Boston. David’s wife died in 1927. He married Annie Gray in 1931 in Milton, MA and died in Milton in 1953. David was a cook in 1920 and also have that he was a grocery clerk, but I am missing some information about him.
  • Susan Jane (1887) – She married Edward Crawford in 1918. He was likely the son of Joshua and Kate Crawford from Derreenasoo, County Roscommon.  Edward was present at the death of his mother there in 1931. My notes say that they moved to Northern Ireland. Edward, also known as Stuart Edward died in Linaskea, Fermanaugh in 1963. Susan died there at the age of 85 in 1972.
  • John Edward (1889) – I mentioned some of Edward’s earlier life surrounded by tragedy above. After moving to the Boston area, Edward married Waitie Covell in 1931. Edward was a chef. He died in Marlborough, MA in 1970. I don’t have any record of surviving children of Susan Jane or John Edward.
  • I don’t mention the three older Frazer brothers directly as they are not in the photo. However, I have already mentioned James and William Frazer. The other brother Richard has a son who marries David’s daughter.

Where Did My William Bradford Ancestors Live?

As I have mentioned in a previous Blog, the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth will soon be upon us. As I update this Blog it is now upon us. As a result, I’m struck that I’ve had ancestors living in Plymouth County where I live for the last 400 years. I have written a few Blogs on where my Bradford ancestors lived. My previous one was on Hannah T Bradford born 1838.

William Bradford Born Before December 1686

This William Bradford was the last William Bradford in my line leading down from Governor Bradford. His line of descent is from his great-grandfather Governor William Bradford to his grandfather Major William Bradford to his father William who married Rebecca Bartlett.


Here is William going back from Hannah Bradford:

Hannah was my 2nd great-grandmother. That makes William my 6th great-grandfather. I assume that William owned land and it is possible that I may be able to trace that land to a current location. According to my Mayflower Families book, William was probably born in Plymouth. He married in Plymouth and he died in Kingston. As William had three more William’s in a row to get back to Governor Bradford, the genealogy can be a little confusing.

One other way to identify these William’s is by their spouses. Unfortunately, I cut off the last wife who was Elizabeth Finney. I also cut off the wife of the William Bradford who was born in 1654. This was Rebecca Bartlett.

William’s Father Dies When William Is Young

Here is more of the story:

William was one of three children and he was the only boy. His father William died when William was only 1 or 2. None of the dates for the children are sure. Alice’s birth is from another book. William was born before December 1686 and Sarah’s birth year is based on her death record. The elder William died in a cart accident.

William Bradford: From Plymouth to Kingston

Here is William’s wife and children:

The first five children were born in Plymouth. That is up to my ancestor Josiah born in 1724. The last three children were born in 1726 or after. That would put William’s move to Kingston at about 1725. Or did the boundaries change? I note that Kingston was incorporated in 1726.

William First Mentioned in a Deed Dated 1687

When William was still a toddler, he was mentioned in a deed by his grandfather William Bradford (born 1624). According to the Mayflower Families Book:

On 23 April 1697 William Bradford in consideration of the natural love he bore for his grandchild William Bradford, only son of his son William Bradford deceased, gives to his grandson one parcel of upland on which his son had built his house “Given unto me from my father William Bradford Esqr”

So it seems this deed mentions four generations of William Bradford’s. This also indirectly mentions where William’s father built his house.

William’s Grandfather Major William Bradford Born 1624

It is usually best to go from the more recent to the less recent in genealogical research. However, in this case, Major William Bradford and his father Governor William Bradford are so famous, that a lot is known about them. For example, Major Bradford’s house is still around, so that will give us a foothold. I have this representation on my web site:

Here is a location on a current map:

Whose house is it?

I may have been wrong. As I look at the website, it appears that the house belonged to Major John Bradford son of Major William Bradford.

Looks like I have it wrong on my web site, so I’ll have to fix that. So it pays to look into these things. Major John Bradford was the brother of the William Bradford who died in a cart accident.

Looking for Where Governor Bradford Born 1589 Lived

I’ll start at the beginning. Here is where Governor Bradford lived in Plymouth:

Hey, someone put a furniture store on Governor Bradford’s property:

I have this rendition on my web site:

I’m not sure how accurate this rendition is, but it does appear to show the church next door. Records say that Bradford held Town meetings at his house. Here is another angle:

Burial hill is to the left in this photo. Governor Bradford lived where the brick building is. However, he also had farm land in present day Kingston. His wife was Alice (Carpenter) Southworth.

In a History of Kingston Massachusetts By Rev. Josiah Peckham, 1867:

For a time Gov. Bradford had his residence in Stoney Brook, near the dwelling of the late Francis Drew. The cellar of his house is still visible. His son, Deputy Gov. Bradford, lived, and died upon the same spot. A “High-Top Sweeting,” the last tree of the orchard, set out by the son, is still standing by the lane leading to Dea. Foster’s. Mr. Henry Colman speaks of it as “planted in 1669, and as bearing in 1838, thirty bushels of good fruit.” If this account of its age is true, it bids fair soon to enter upon its third century. Joseph Bradford, another son of the Governor, settled a little south-east of the Landing. 

Here is an old map of Kingston:

There is a Bradford shown to the North of Stony Brook. There is another S Bradford shown and highlighted to the South or SouthEast of Stony Brook. Today’s Stony Brook looks to be Halls Brook:

According to the Will of Governor Bradford dated 1657:

I have Desposed to John and Willam alreddy their  proportions of land which they are possesssed of;

Major William Bradford Born 1624

Here is an excerpt from an 1850 article on the Bradford Family:

This account appears to differ with the account above concerning where Deputy General William Bradford lived. Or perhaps he lived both places at different times. Here is a portion of the 1820-1830 map of Kingston South of the Jones River showing three Bradford locations:

Another Kingston Clue  in the Willett House

According to the Kingston Historical Commission:

Willett House update, 27 Wapping Road. Jack provided a historical overview, noting the house was likely built in the 1630s, perhaps in 1638, and describes it as having the best provenance of any house in town. Willett, who sold it to Governor William Bradford in the 1650s, came over on the second Mayflower voyage in 1629.

Based on further Commission notes, this house is in private ownership. This excerpt is from the Massachusetts Historical Commission:

The ownership history has been thoroughly researched and indicates the (house and?) land was sold to Governor William Bradford in 1653. It remained in the Bradford family when it was willed to his son, Major William Bradford, who built the “Bradford House” on Landing Road, and then to Samuel and Gershom Bradford. In 1747, the land was sold to Reverend William Rand and later to John Faunce, in whose family it remained for quite some time. From December 1936 to July 1937, a Historic American Buildings Survey team recorded the site and listed the owner as George Higgins. Shortly thereafter, a Mrs. Peabody owned the property and it was under her ownership that the house underwent a restoration by Strickland & Strickland in 1946. The current owner has not significantly altered the appearance of the house since she bought it and it appears very much as it did following the 1946 restoration.

Here is 27 Wapping Road, Kingston:

This is to the South of Jones River. I’m not sure if the previous reference to Stony Brook is accurate or not.

Here is a photo of the house:

The original house from the 1600’s is the one in the back and the ‘newer’ part is on the front dating from the 1700’s. Here is some more information from the Massachusetts Historical Commission:

The main block of the Willett House, in its current configuration, is a typical early 18th century saltbox. Town records indicating a land grant to Capt. Thomas Willett in 1639, including forty acres of “upland and meadow” and seven acres “on which to build his house,” have served as the basis for dating the rear ell. In The Story of the Thomas Willett House, Gordon Massingham of the Kingston Historical Commission assumed that the ell was built around 1640 and it apparently served as a model for a precise, although somewhat larger replica built at Plymoth Plantation in 1994. HABS field notes suggested a slightly later 1653 date, apparently based on town histories published in 1884 and 1920. Abbott Lowell Cummings visited the house in 1996 and, according to the owner, stated that the rear ell did show evidence of 17th century construction (based in part on sheathing exposed at the time) and that the saltbox was probably built around 1700.

It helps to have famous ancestors who have been well-researched. On the 1820-1830 Kingston Map, the house appears to be labelled as belonging to the Widow Faunce:

Chronology for the Williett House

Governor Bradford buys the Williett house in 1653. It is not clear to me if he lives in it or not. The Massachusetts HIstorical Commission [MHC] says it was willed to his son Major William Bradford. However, Governor Bradford died in 1657. His Will says he already gave land to his two sons prior to the Will. My guess is that if the Governor ever lived in the house it was for a very brief time or only to visit his son. According to the MHC, “It remained in the Bradford family when it was willed to his son, Major William Bradford, who built the “Bradford House” on Landing Road, and then to Samuel and Gershom Bradford. In 1747, the land was sold to Reverend William Rand…” That means tha the Willett house was a Bradford house between 1653 and 1747. 

The Samuel mentioned above, born about 1667, was the son of Major Bradford. Gershom, born 1691 was Samuel’s son. This Gershom was probably the same Gershom who in 1741 was appointed guardian of my ancestor Josiah Bradford (born about 1724) after Josiah’s father William Bradford died in a carting accident. That means that Josiah possibly lived at this location also when he was young.

The Bradford House on Landing Road

Am I going in circles? Above it says that the Willett House was willed to Major William Bradford who built the Bradford House on Landing Road. Wasn’t this the house that was listed as the Major John Bradford Homestead above? Major William Bradford died in 1687. The John Bradford house was built when?

According to Wikipedia:

The Bradford House, also known as the Major John Bradford Homestead, is a historic house at 50 Landing Road in Kingston, Massachusetts. The Jones River Village Historical Society owns the house, and operates it as a historic house museum. The oldest portion of this 2-1/2 story wood frame house was built c. 1714; this was the western portion of the house, including what is now the central chimney. Documentary evidence suggests the building was expanded to its present width c. 1750.

Apparently there is some confusion. So if Major William Bradford died in 1687, he couldn’t have built a house in 1714, unless there was a different house in this area that he built. According to a Major John Bradford Biography at the Jones River Village Historical Society web site:

Maj. Bradford’s home in Kingston, built in 1675, is still standing and open to the public today. According to tradition, the Indians attempted to burn John’s house during King Philip’s War. The Major discovered the fire. He spied an Indian on Abrams Hill waving a blanket and shouting to his fellows, and shot him. But on approach, he could not find the body. After the war, the Indian met Bradford and showed him the scars of his wound.

Based on this earlier date of construction, the house would have been built when John Bradford was 22 years old.

Here is another reference from a 1920 Biography on Governor William Bradford by Albert Hale Plumb that further confuses the issue:

Based on what I have learned so far, I am a little skeptical of the above Biography.

Some History of Kingston

According to Wikipedia:

Originally part of Plymouth, Kingston was first settled by Europeans shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620. It was settled once more in 1635.[2] During 1675, several bloody battles during King Philip’s War are believed to have occurred within Kingston’s borders and the residence of Governor Bradford, which is now part of Kingston, was raided by Wampanoag warriors.

In 1685, the area was placed within the boundaries of Plymouth County and for a brief time, between 1686 and 1689, the borders of Kingston were within the Dominion of New England.

Kingston was first established as Plymouth’s northern precinct in 1717 upon the creation of First Parish Kingston, now a Unitarian Universalist church in the town’s center.[2] Kingston was incorporated as a distinct town on June 16, 1726, following a tax dispute between the residents of north and south Plymouth, when the parish was known as the upper class portion of Plymouth.

I would question that the residence of Governor Bradford was raided in 1675 as Governor Bradford died in 1657. If this is referring to Lieutenant Governor William Bradford, this would make more sense.

William Bradford Born Before 1654

According to the Mayflower Families he was probably born in Plymouth. But recall the boundaries were different then. This was the William who married Rebecca Bartlett and died when a cart he was driving overturned and killed him. I am hoping there will be some information on him that will clear things up. Here is a representation of my four William Bradford’s who lived in Plymouth as it is easy to get these William’s mixed up:

As the result of William’s untimely death in 1687, there are some records.

John Bradford was the administrator of William’s estate. I assume that this was the Major John Bradford who had the house I showed earlier in the Blog.

John’s job was to see what assets William had and pay off outstanding debts. Then he would see if anything was left over.

If I could read the above, it might give a clue to the kind of work William did. My assumption is that William had some sort of carting business as he died in a carting accident.

Here are the people that William owed:

According to to the book, “William Bradford of the Mayflower”:

On 23 April 1687 William Bradford in consideration of the natural love he bore for his grandchild William Bradford, only son of his son William Bradford deceased, gives to his grandson one parcel of upland on which his son had built his house “Given unto me from my father William Bradford Esqr.” Before acknowledging the deed on 4 Sept 1696, William added a paragraph saying that when his grandson William reached the age of 21, he “shall enjoy the lands without Interruption.” On 29 Oct. 1709 John Bradford, Samuel Bradford, Israel Bradford, Ephraim Bradford, David Bradford, and Hezekiah Bradford all of Plymouth County gave their right in a cedar swamp to their kinsman William Bradford, son of their brother William Bradford deceased. This deed was not acknowledged until 26 Marcy 1747.

What I gather from the above is that the carting William lived in a house that he built on land of his father Major William Bradford. This land was given to the Major by Governor Bradford. My guess is that the Major intended the carting William’s son William to be able to continue to live in the house that his father built. However, it does not seem that the younger William would own the land that the house was on.

From the book, “The Descendants of Elder William Brewster”:

The children of William and Rebecca (Bartlett) Bradford were remembered in the will of [William’s uncle] John Richards of Boston dated 1 April 1694 and proved on 10 May 1694 that mentioned that “the children of William Bradford Fr. of Plymouth were to receive the share fo their grandfather Major William Bradford, which was to be equally divided between them.” The children’s names were not mentioned.

The three children of William Bradford Jr., late of Plymouth, deceased, namely, William, Alice, and Sarah, made choice of their “uncle” Mr. Joseph Bartlett and Mr. Nathaniel Warren to be their guardians on 18 December 1700. Each child would have been over 14 years of age to be allowed to choose their guardian. A bond in the amount of 100 pounds was posted by the guardians “to ye orphaned Children.”

I wonder who Joseph Bartlett and Nathaniel Warren are? Rebecca Bartlett Bradford had an Uncle Joseph Bartlett (1639-1711). This Joseph also had a son Joseph (1665-1703). Nathaniel Warren seems even more obscure. Rebecca’s great-grandfather was Richard Warren. The titles Mr. are important. At the time, Mr. would have indicated a person of status and wealth.

Here is a helpful article from from the Plymouth Colony Archive Project:

D. Guardianship

Guardian agreements are another type of agreement that I will only briefly mention here. The Court Records demonstrate that by 1660 guardian agreements were more common in the records than service and apprentice agreements. No recorded laws governed these agreements. Guardian agreements were written in a contract form similar to that of a servant’s indenture. Often a child would “pick” one or two adults to serve as their guardian until they were adults. A typical guardian agreement reads as follow: “Att this Court, Hannah Hull made choise of Joseph Holley and Nathaniel Fitsrandall to be her guardians, which was approved by the Court” (PCR 5: 52). In this case it is uncertain as to whether or not this childððs parents are deceased. However, other agreements specifically mention that the child’s father or parents were dead (PCR 5: 124). In some instances guardian agreements explicitly stated what goods the chosen guardian was to provide for the child while others asked that the guardians manage the estates inherited by their new wards (PCR 4:39).

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a guardian as “one who has or is by law entitled to the custody of the person or property (or both) of an infant, idiot, or other person legally incapable of managing his own affairs” (Electronic Text Center: UVA). The Plymouth Court Records indicate that this was how Plymouth residents defined guardians. Guardian agreements thus became a type of social welfare for orphaned children or children who can from dysfunctional parents. We may never know the manner in which guardians dealt with their wards. Did the guardian treat them like their own children, or did they treat their wards like servants? Most likely, the treatment of wards was highly varied. One record from 1659 involved a complaint made against John Williams, of Scittuate, for the “hard vsage of a daughter of John Barker, deceased” (PCR 3:160). The child was removed from William’s house and given to Thomas Bird until the next Court session could look into the case further. In the meantime, Williams was required to pay a fine. The final sentence of the record was particularly intriguing as it revealed a kin relationship between Williams and the daughter of the deceased John Barker. The record stated that “the said Thomas Bird is to appeer att the next Court to giue in what testimony hee can produce to cleare vp the case betwixt the said John Williams and his kinswoman, the said gerle” (ibid.). Here we see that Williams was probably the guardian of Barker’s daughter, and yet he had mistreated her and used her like a servant.

This record concerning the treatment of a ward is on the one extreme. In other cases a ward may have been treated like the guardian’s child. A future project might entail looking at the wills of men whom we know were chosen as guardians. Are the children they were assigned to look after listed in their wills? Are they listed as servants? These are just a few questions which might help us to understand the social roles of both the guardian and the child.

Apprentice, servant, and ward all entered into a common law contract with a master or guardian. These indenture agreements were viewed as unbreakable contracts and were enforced by the Plymouth Court. Any changes in indenture agreements — from the trade of a servant and the withholding of food or clothing to the misdemeanors of a servant — were brought before the Court. The next several sections will explore the manner with which change and divergence in indenture agreements was dealt.

It appears that the children would live with the guardians and would be treated along the range between servant to child. This doesn’t surprise me, as I believe that natural children were aslo treated along the same spectrum between child and servant.

From “William Bradford of the Mayflower”:

John Richards of Boston, merchant, in his will dated 1 April, proved 10 May 1694, named, among others, the children of his late sister Alice the wife of Major William Bradford of Plymouth; Thomas Bradford of Connecticut; Mercy the wife of mr. Steel of Hartford, [Conn.]; Alice the wife of Major James Fritch of Norwich, [Conn.]; Hannah the wife of Joshua Ribpley of Norwich; Melatiah the wife of John Steel of Norwich; the children of Willima Bradford Fr. of Plymouth to receive the share of the grandfather Major William Bradford to be equally divided among the; John Bradford; Samuel Bradford; Mary the wife of William Hunt of Wymouth; Sarah the wife of Mr. Baker of Duxbury; and Elizabethe Adams the daughter of Alice the wife of the late Rev. William Adams of Dedham.

John Richards was Major William Bradford’s brother-in-law.

Two Generations of Bradford Guardianship

The last William Bradford in my line born before 18 December 1686 chose, along with his two sisters to be under the guardianship of “their uncle Mr. Joseph Bartlett and Mr. Nathaniel Warren”. This William died 9 March 1729/30. According to “William Bradford of the Mayflower”,  “On 29 Nov 1736 George Partridge of Duxborough was appointed guardian of Sarah and Jerusha Bradford, over 14, and of Mercy and Josiah, under 14. On 21 May 1741 Gershom Bradford was appointed guardian of Josiah”. Josiah who was my ancestor was born possibly 1724.

Who Was George Partridge?

My assumption is that Josiah went to live with George Partridge in what I assume would be today’s Duxbury between 1736 and 1741. According to a 1915 Partridge genealogy:

Perhaps Josiah didn’t care for being restrained and was able to choose Gershom Bradford as his guardian as of 1741.

Summary and Conclusions

  • For the most part, I did not get very specific with the location of various Bradford ancestors
  • A specific location is known where Governor Bradford’s first dwelling house was in Downtown Plymouth.
  • I also guessed as to where Josiah Bradford lived when he was under the guardianship of Gershom Bradford in Duxbury.
  • In general, for the time period that I looked at, my Bradford ancestors lived to the North of Plmouth mostly in what is now Kingston.
  • The study of where ancestors lived and the lands they owned goes beyond the basic birth, marriage and death records and can be complicated. On the other hand these land records are sometimes better recorded than other records. When people moved, it was often for a reason and adds interest to the family history.






Lillian’s Family History

I met Lillian at the assisted living facility where my mom is. Lillian was curious about her husband’s family and I was curious about Lillian’s so I said that I would look into both.

Lillian’s Husband – Willis Leslie Thomas (1931-2008)

I found this photo of Willis on-line:

Here is Willis in the 1940 Census living in Somerville with a large family:

The family was living at 104 Broadway:

I believe that Lillian said that Willis was one of 13. There were eight at the time of the 1940 Census. According to Willis’ obituary there were his surviving siblings as of 2008:

4 sisters, Amy Mulligan of Somerville, Eva Goss of Malden, Hazel Salvato of Somerville and Gale Ludy of MO; 2 brothers, Harvey Thomas of Hillsdale, MI and Frank Thomas of SC

That means that there could have been 6 siblings that had passed away as of 2008. Here are the family members that I could find:

Here is some more information from Willis’ obituary:

ONSET — Willis L. Thomas, 76, of Onset, died June 21, 2008, at home. He was the husband of Lillian B. (Kempton) Thomas. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 25, 2008. He was the son of the late Elmer and Cora (Farra) Thomas.

He was born in Somerville and lived in Dracut before moving to Onset in 1977.

Mr. Thomas was the former owner of Cape Cod Charlie’s, one of the most popular bait and tackle shops in the Upper Cape.

He was an Arts & Crafts Teacher at the Waltham Boys & Girls Club and Assistant Director at Camp Mitten in Brewster.

Mr. Thomas was a skilled artist of painting, carving and drawing. He was a highly skilled veteran of fishing and hunting. He will be greatly missed by all those who participated in his life.

Elmer Smith Thomas (1896-1967)

Willis’ parents were Elmer and Cora May Farrar. Elmer was born in Boston at Island Street:

Elmer’s father was a foreman from Maine his mother was from Boston. In 1900, the family was living at 6 Reading Street:

Reading Street was just around the corner from Island Street. Here is Elmer in 1917:

Elmer was a leather belt maker living at 19 Leonard Street in Dorchester. Elmer had blue eyes and light hair:

Elmer’s dad died in 1906 at the age of 81. However, he was 71 when his son Elmer was born. In 1940, Elmer was listed as a shoe salesman.

Willis’ Grandfather William B Thomas (1825-1906)

Here is William’s death record:

Here is the record of William’s third marriage:

His wife was thirty years younger than he was. Here is Elmer with his sister Margaret and mother Annie in the 1920 Census:

Elmer and Margaret were probably supporting their mother Annie. Annie’s father was born in Scotland and her mother was born in Massachusetts

Willis’ Mother – Cora May Farrar (1903-1989)

Willis’ mother Cora was born in Townsend, MA:

According to her birth record, Cora’s father James was from Troy, NH and worked in a livery stable. Cora’s mother Mary was from Townsend. Here is Cora living in Townsend in 1910:

Cora’s mother was listed as the proprietor of a hotel. The boarders are shown above. Cora’s mother Mary is shown as married, but I don’t know where her father was at the time of the Census. He does show up in the 1920 Census as a hotel keeper.

Willis’ Great-Grandfather Benjamin

Willis’ great-grandfather is shown below living in Belmont, Maine as a farmer in 1850:

Willis’ grandfather William had moved to Boston by this time. Belmont is near Belfast, Maine.

Here is Benjamin’s grave marker:

He was listed as a Deacon:

Willis’ grandfather William was missed on the website above. Here are some more of the ancestors of Deacon Benjamin Thomas:

If I have my connections right, Willis’ Thomas line goes back to David Thomas born 1620 in Wales. David made his way to Salem where he married, then he moved to Middleborough.

Lillian Father Frank Kempton – A Man of Mystery

Lillian’s father Frank Kempton was from Canada. In 1940, Frank was at Tewksbury Hospital:

Frank was listed as 74. He likely died that same year. Here are Frank’s daughters living with Franks wife Catherine in 1940:

They were Catherine or Kathryn, Ida and Lillian.

Ida Jane and Lillian Bess were born in Ayer, so I assume that Frank lived in Ayer at that time also.

Getting the Right Frank Kempton

There was more than one Frank Kempton in the Boston area, so it is important to get the right one. I don’t think this is the right Frank living in Roxbury:

This Frank was married in 1920 and the proprietor of a furniture company, but was also born in Canada about 1865.

This is more likely Lillian’s Frank in 1920:

This Frank was a single machinist living in Boston. His birthplace said unknown, but then someone wrote in NS for Nova Scotia. Here is a transcription of the 1925 Boston Directory:

Here the machinist Frank is Frank E Kempton. The 1916 Boston Directory only shows Frank E Kempton:

Here is Frank E in 1937 still in Boston:

That means that either Lillian’s father was living away from the family in Boston or that there were three Frank Kempton’s. I could find out more about Frank, but that would entail a trip to Boston to look up records. So until we find out more about Frank Kempton, he shall remain a man of mystery. Lillian did say that he served in the military.

Lillian’s Mother Catherine or Kate Bess

I’ll switch to Lillian’s mother Catherine. She was born in Ishpeming, Michigan in 1897. Here is Ishpeming:

Kate Bess was born in 1897. Here is Kate’s birth record showing her parents:

Kate’s father was a miner.

In 1910, Kate was at the Homme’s Orphanage in Wittenburg, Wisconsin:

Kate’s father had died and Kate was at the orphanage with two of her brothers. Here is what it looked like:

This orphanage was built by the Reverend Homme who was originally from Norway like Kate’s mother Ida:

Kate’s Trip from Montreal to England to Boston

Mary Smith and Kate Bess travelled from Montreal and arrived in Liverpool on 7 December 1932:

They were the only two aliens listed on the ship. This is because they were from the USA. Here is the destination they had listed:

Kate showed up in the Boston area in 1932 still travelling with Mary Smith:

This ship sailed from Liverpool. Perhaps Kate’s US address was listed as the same as Mary Smith’s, so perhaps Kate worked for or with Mary? The address is 28 Russell Street, Atlantic. There is a 28 Russell Street in Charlestown, but this would be a guess.

Kate’s daughter Ida Jane Kempton was born in 1934, so a good guess for Kate’s marriage would be 1933. Here is a listing for Kathryn about 1954:

Kate died in 1975 in Pinehurst, MA.

Kate or Kathryn’s Father William Bess 1863-1898

Kate likely never remembered her father as she was born in 1897 and her father died in 1898. William was only 35 when he died of typhoid fever.

According to this record, William was born in England as were his parents Richard Bess and Elizabeth Paul. William married on 12 September 1891 in Marquette:

William’s wife was listed as Ida Holsen but was probably Ida Olsen or Olson.

Kate’s Mom – Ida Olson from Norway

Here is a short timeline for Ida:

This shows her birth, marriage, the birth of her three sons and a daughter and then the death of her husband when Ida was only 27.

Here is the last mention of Ida Bess in the Ishpeming Directory of 1899:

On 16 December 1900, about two years after William died, Ida remarried another miner – James Moyle:


I’ve been able to get Lillian’s ancestry back a few years. On her husband Willis’ side I got back to the 1600’s in Wales. On the other sides, not so far. Willis is balanced off by Lilian’s dad Frank Kempton who I have very little information on. Lillian’s mom Kate had some travel in her life that Lillian didn’t know about. Kate sailed from Montreal to Liverpool and the next year to Massachusetts where she settled. Kate’s family benefited by the generosity of a man named Reverend Hommes who built an orphanage and helped out not only orphans but many others.




Walking Back My Clusters: Part 2

Part 1 of Walking Back My Clusters was long and rambling. I learned a few things, looked at a few family trees and reached out to a few DNA matches at AncestryDNA.  While writing my previous Blog, I came up with a better way of presenting the results of walking back my clusters. I realize that this may sound obscure if you are not already into genetic genealogy and clusters, but hopefully the readers understand the basics of DNA and clustering.

The New Cluster Results Format

Here it is:

I have my four grandparents in four colors. The thought is that even if I am lost as to what a cluster represents, I should know under which grandparent the cluster belongs. At the top, I show the cM cutoff for the clusters. I have a small column for the cluster number that the program produces. This is a relative number and changes for each analysis. To the right of the cluster number, I have the name of the closest surname that cluster represents and the date that ancestor was born. If I don’t know this, I may give a geographical hint. As far as which ancestor to use, it is somewhat subjective. On the top row I have Hartley going to Pilling 1802 and Snell 1866. It may have made more sense to use an earlier Hartley instead of Pilling, but I suspected that one of the people in that particular cluster went back to Pilling. Under Lentz 1900, that went to the two parents who were Lentz 1866 and Nicholson 1865. This new representation, so far, keeps everything close together where I can keep track of where the clusters are going.

Cluster 13 on the 30 cM Limit

This is where I left off on the chart above. There are only three in this Cluster. I have a note on one of the match’s that they have a Northern Ireland background. I’m going to peek forward to 25 cM to see if I get any more hints. This adds one more match and tree. This tree in addition to the match with the largest tree has Canadian ancestors. I’ll take a look at the largest tree in Cluster 13:

This particular match had Ontario ancestors. The parents had connections to Owen Sound, Ontario. That sounds familiar from one of my distant Frazer relatives. My hunch is that the connection is not on the McRae side as they are listed as being originally from Scotland and Presbyterian. I’m not aware of Presbyterian ancestry on my Frazer side.

Here is my best guess:

Jane or Jennie in the bottom right of the tree is from Inniskillen. I assume this to be a variant of Enniskillen, where a lot of my DNA match leads take me:

All that to make a guess at Cluster 13.

Cluster 16 on the 30 cM Limit

I’m a bit stuck on this one. I think it is on my maternal grandfather’s side. Here is what I have so far:

I know that at 20 cM, I have 50 Clusters, so I have a way to go.

25 cM Clusters

Here I have 27 clusters, but some may be compound clusters.

Clusters 1 and 2

These split out the previous Cluster 15 which I had assigned to Fanny McMaster born 1829. Let’s take a second look:

Whitney in Cluster 1 matches everyone in Cluster 2. That is because he is a closer relative to me than I am to others in that Cluster:

What is also confusing is that Margaret McMaster had two McMaster parents.  I had the previous Cluster 15 correct on Fanny McMaster. However, it would be easier for me to think of this now as having the old Cluster 15 on Margaret McMaster 1846. Then I could assign Fanny to BV and mt and James McMaster to Whitney. Here is how I’m related to Whitney:

I am Whitney’s third cousin once removed. Here is one case where I changed an earlier analysis based on a later one:

After going through some more clusters, I came up with this:

I mentioned that I Had 27 clusters at 25 cM and 50 clusters at 20 cM, so I gave up doing this for now. I think I have an easier way to go about this which I will explore in my next Blog.

One interesting thing above is that the orange Rathfelder line jumps from 1921 to 1819 in the above cluster summary. My explanation is that there were not many DNA matches for that line at Ancestry. That line represents my mother’s father who was from Latvia. He jumped ship and came to the US in 1916. I have has one Rathfelder 2nd cousin once removed who tested at Ancestry, but one person is not enough to form a cluster at that level.

Going All the Way to 6 cM with Shared Clusters

The creator of the Shared Cluster Program commented on my previous Blog and recommended I take the clusters down to 6 cM. John Brecher tells me I won’t get any more clusters but more matches associated with those clusters. At first I thought that I had to leave the “Lowest centimorgans in shared matches” as 20, but that gave me the same results as my last run using 20 for both values in that row. So now I have both values set to 6 cM:

This kicked up my spreadsheet from 912 rows to 2453 rows. I suspect that this is where the Shared Cluster Program really shines.

Filtering the 6 cM Results

Excel has a filter button. I would like to filter my results on Common Ancestors:

When I choose Filter, an arrow appears in each column’s heading. I click on the arrow under “Common Ancestors” and unclick the ‘Blanks’ option which is at the bottom of the list:

That will give me each row that has a common ancestor:

I couldn’t get all my results in one screen shot, so the top is cut off.  Cluster 7 appears to have many of my 2nd cousins, so it shows other more distant clusters that they are related to. The 13 is highlighted in the Correlated Clusters column because it gives a clue to Cluster 13 with common ancestors Snell and Luther that I didn’t have before for Cluster 13. The same is true for associated Cluster 19 with common ancestors of James McMaster and Fanny McMaster. If I add up all the clusters plus associated clusters that have Common Ancestors, that adds up to about 20. Those will be a good clues to identifying my 50 clusters.

I highlighted Nigel because he is an interesting case. He has a fairly high DNA match with me. He’s my 5th cousin, once removed:

I don’t recall Nigel being in a cluster before due to the distant of his relationship to me. So it is good to see him in Cluster 40 now.

On to the Next Blog

Part of the difficult part of comparing these Clusters is cross checking between say, a 25 cM analysis and a 20 cM analysis. For example, Charlie was in Cluster 35 at 20 cM. What Cluster was he in at 25 cM? I hope to figure out a way to make that a little easier in my next Blog using MS Access. There may be other ways. It makes sense to me also to walk the Clusters Forward instead of back. That is because the older clusters have more people in them. As noted above they also have about 20 identified Common Ancestors.



Walking My Clusters Back – Jim Bartlett Method

I recently read two interesting articles by Jim Bartlett on the use of Shared Clustering. Jim’s most recent article discussed walking the clusters back. Shared Clustering is a free program developed by Jonathan Brecher.

Shared Clustering

Last Night while the New England Patriots were playing football, I downloaded Jonathan’s program and used that program to download my AncestryDNA matches and Shared Matches.


I used the first two radio buttons above. The first button downloads your matches up to the fourth cousin level. That is a match of 20 cM or more. As I recall, this was about 978 matches. I may be off, because I just checked AncestryDNA and I have 908 matches of 4th cousin or closer. The second button gets your matches and Shared Matches down to a level of 6 cM. It took overnight to gets all these downloaded. However, once I have those, I don’t have to connect ot AncestryDNA again – unless I need an update. The download is in the form of a text file and not overly useful in that form. It is sort of a dump of my AncestryDNA match data.


Next, I chose the recommended button for clustering under the cluster tab:

This outputs to an Excel spreadsheet file. If I shrink my spreadsheet to the minimum 10%, I can see half of the clusters:

This gets me to about Cluster 18 out of 50 clusters. So, though this is theoretically, my 4th cousins, it must go out further than that. 4th cousins would represent my 3rd great-grandparents. I have 32 great-grandparents and 50 clusters. 18 or more of those clusters must go beyond the level of the 3rd great-grandparents.

Here is the bottom half of most of my clusters down to Cluster 50 in the lower right of the screen:

Walking My Clusters Back

Jim Bartlett recommends walking back your clusters from your 4 grandparents further back a generation at a time. My first Blog on clustering was about a year ago using the Auto Cluster program. Here was my first Auto Cluster:

In this simple analysis, I had 5 clusters. However, as far as I could tell, none of these represented my maternal grandfather:

  1. Paternal grandfather – orange
  2. Paternal grandmother – green, purple and brown
  3. Maternal grandmother – red

My paternal grandfather was a German from Latvia who came to this country in the early 20th Century. So, not many relatives had tested. Not really a problem, but something to be aware of.

Shared Clustering 90 cM or Greater

Next, I tried the Shared Cluster 90 cM or Greater. It looks like this should give me 3rd cousins or greater. Somewhat surprisingly, this only gave me two clusters:

A few notes:

  • The Shared Cluster program does not appear to have an upper limit for matching. Because of that my immediate family is included. They show up as a a horizontal bar in the middle of the image.
  • The first two people are in a cluster of sorts, but Shared Cluster only includes clusters of three or more by default. They fit in on my paternal grandmother’s side.
  • The third person (the first person in Cluster 1) is actually on my maternal grandfather’s side. This was a new person who tested since last year. She is in Cluster 1 because she matches with my mother, my maternal first cousin and her two daughters.
  • Cluster 2 is all my paternal side. The matches go back further than that but the Cluster is holding together due to my close family being included in the Cluster.

Tweaking the Shared Cluster Program

Under advanced options on the Cluster Tab, I don’t see any option for screening out close relatives:

So I’ll try to ratchet down the lowest centimorgans to cluster to try to break open these clusters. I’ll try 50 cM for the lowest:

Above, I picked up one more Cluster. Cluster 1 is now my paternal grandmother’s cluster. This was the one that wasn’t a cluster previously, but I picked up one more person to make it a cluster:

  1. Paternal grandmother
  2. Maternal
  3. Paternal grandfather

The first person in the previous Cluster 1, Donna, is now the last person in the new equivalent Cluster 2. So far, I have not split a cluster but added to a previous non-cluster. This is fun to play with.

I Need to Get to About 8 Clusters Next

Trying 40 cM still resulted in 3 Clusters, so I’ll try 30 cM. I know that the three represent four grandparents as they are, but I only have one tested person for my maternal grandfather’s side tested at Ancestry. I know that at 20 cM, I have 50 clusters, so I need a match number that will get me about eight clusters. I think I see an issue. On the advanced tab, there is a maximum shared match number. When I ran 50 cM, I had a maximum shared match of 90 cM. I need to change that to 50 cM:

This flipped the clusters around:

  1. Paternal grandfather
  2. Maternal
  3. Paternal grandmother – now up to a cluster of 6 people who match me and each other by DNA

I think I’m getting the hang of this.

A 40 cM Cluster Gives Me 6 Clusters

This may be about what I want. Again, I set my shared match limit to 40 cM:

There are two-person clusters where I have the arrows. There is also a one-person cluster at the lower right of the image above. The Clusters are:

  1. Lentz
  2. Nicholson – the first two clusters look like one. I believe that that is because Cluster 1 is Lentz/Nicholson and Cluster 2 is Nicholson without the Lentz.
  3. McMaster/Frazer (Ireland) – These families intermarried more than once in my ancestry
  4. Unidentified, but believed to be Spratt (Ireland)
  5. Most likely Clarke (Ireland)
  6. Hartley – Paternal grandfather, but not further split out

Here are those Clusters on my family tree:

  • I know least about the Clarke line, yet this seems split out to the two parents of Clarke and Spratt
  • Cluster 6 is stuck probably because Hartley and Snell had 13 children and I have a lot of 2nd cousin matches at AncestryDNA
  • Cluster 2 appears to be split between three great-grandparents on my maternal side. I’m not sure why. I have some other Rathfelder cousins, but they tested at MyHeritage and FTDNA.

Some Walk Back Analysis

This shows what happened between matches of 50 to 40 cM when my clusters went from three to six.

  • My mother’s Rathfelder Cluster split into her maternal grandparents of Lentz and Nicholson
  • My paternal grandfather’s Cluster got stuck and was not further divided
  • My paternal grandmother’s Cluster seemed to skip a generation and form two clusters further out.

As my Clarke and Spratt Lines are brick walls, I would like to look at them. I am quite sure of Cluster 5. My common ancestors with two of the people in this Cluster are Thomas Clarke and Jane Spratt. That being the case, I could have put the Cluster 5 up a generation at Ancestor #11.

The four matches in Cluster 4 are all just above 40 cM, so they didn’t appear in the 50 cM analysis.

Here are Clusters 4 and 5. There are a few connections between these two Clusters. I interpreted that to mean that Cluster 4 is the ancestor of Cluster 5. Here is my modified summary:

A 35 cM Threshold Results in 10 Clusters

It’s a free program, so I can play around with it:

10 is still pretty close to 8, so let’s see what we have for Clusters:

  1. Nicholson
  2. Lentz
  3. Frazer
  4. Clarke/Spratt
  5. Snell or Colonial MA?
  6. Snell/Bradford – this was a larger cluster in my previous run
  7. Parker Nantucket?
  8. McMaster Ireland?
  9. Hartley English?
  10. Snell or Colonial MA?

I’m not sure that this is any clearer than the previous Cluster of 6. Some of my matches that were previously in clusters fell out in this analysis.

35 cM Cluster Analysis

For the 10 35 cM Clusters, it would be nice if I were able to trace where they came from. I had a question on Cluster 5. However, it is still as good as it can be right now. There are only three in this cluster. They have no usable trees and they are shown matching Hartley’s in my 2nd cousin large Cluster.

On Cluster #7, I don’t agree with the way the program drew up the Cluster, so I would rather ignore that Cluster. Half of the Cluster seems to match Cluster 6 (Massachusetts Colonial) and half seems to match Cluster 8 (Irish ancestors). Cluster 9 is difficult as there are only three in the Cluster. One tree has English ancestors, but not all are English.

A 30 cM Match LImit Gives Me 16 Clusters

So by accident, I have come upon 16 clusters. In a perfect World, this would represent my 16 2nd great-grandparents. I have already shown that theoretical perfect numbers are not showing up in my case, so I don’t see a lot of purpose in getting a perfect 4, 8 and 16 clusters.

Here I have pointed out my maternal side. They only match with the first two Clusters. That means that the following 14 Clusters appear to be paternal.  The largest Cluster is #6. That is the one with a lot of my second cousins.

Here are my guesses for these 16 Clusters:

Had this previously as possibly Hartley English due to someone with a Heaton in their ancestry. Heaton is a name that was in the area where my Hartley ancestors came from. I had that one of my Hartley ancestors possibly married a Heaton. However, I had this wife of dying before they had children. Based on others in the group I would go back to saying that this is probably a Colonial Massachusetts Cluster

Cluster 2

I would interesting in knowing about Cluster 2. One of the matches in this Cluster was part of a New Ancestor Discovery at Ancestry that I never figured out. One match has a tree, so I could try building that out. My guess is that this Cluster is along the lines of my Irish ancestors.

I don’t have a lot of hope in figuring out this line, but I’ll give it a shot:

John McLean goes back to Ireland, so that is where I was trying to get. Going out further, I get this:

The trees are going back to Scotland on many lines. I tend to put some of these lines on the Clarke/Spratt as I don’t know much about those lines except that they were from Ireland.

Back to the guesses:

  1. Snell and before Massachusetts Colonial
  2. Clarke or Spratt Ireland
  3. English Hartley ancestors?
  4. One match correlates to Cluster 7 (Hartley 2nd cousins) but one match maps to Frazer by Visual Phasing, so say Frazer side
  5. Possibly Spratt
  6. Hartley side by shared matches
  7. Snell/Bradford based on one match with common ancestor
  8. Isaac Parker/Prudence Hatch (1778)
  9. Correlated with Cluster 11;

A Cluster 9 Tree

One of the Cluster 9 matches has a tree:

I have come up with many of these names before, but the name of Reed sounds familiar. Here is the detail on Alexander Reed:

Here is Hastings:

Here is the Reid I have:

Apparently William Wynn Fraser marries a Rachel Reid. My guess was that Reid was her married name. However, this family lived in Kenilsworth, Ontario:

I’m not sure if the Reid and Reed families are the same or whether there is any connection with my family. A search for Alexander Reid/Reed shows that there were many by that name living in Ontario.

Cluster 14

I joined the Shared Cluster Facebook Group. It looks like this Cluster is actually more than one Cluster.

Because my Mom, her niece and two grand-nieces are in this Cluster, it formed a super Cluster. I’ll call them 14a, 14b and 14c.

  • 14a Nicholson
  • 14b Rathfelder
  • 14c Lentz

Rather than look at each Cluster in detail, here is a summary:

I skipped a few Clusters. This exercise reinforces my thought that getting the exact 16 clusters for 16 2nd great-grandparents is not important. I had 16 Clusters but only 2 were maternal. That means that 14 were paternal and far in excess of the 8 paternal great-grandparents expected. Cluster 16 was maternal and most likely my maternal grandfather’s side. I haven’t placed this group yet. They seem to go back to a German Colony in Russia which was a long way from my grandfather’s family’s German Colony in Latvia. There was some connection to the two colonies, but I haven’t made the connection genealogically with my family.

25 cM Cutoff – 27 Clusters

This is 5 cM above the cutoff that Ancestry uses for 4th cousin. This is equivalent to a 4th great-grandparent common ancestor. I expect that a 25 cM cutoff should be equivalent to 4th cousin.

Here is the general look of the clusters:

I am in a vertical and horizontal group that splits the chart about equally in two. My mother and her close relatives form a lop-sided plus sign in the lower right side of the chart.

Clusters 1 and 2

These two clusters hold a lot of potential. These were previously Cluster 15 and I had assigned them to my ancestor Fanny McMaster. Now that Cluster 15 has broken into two, it appears that each cluster could represent one of Fanny’s Parents who were William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. I have recently learned a lot about this family through researching their move to Ontario from Ireland. Two of the people in the new Cluster 2 share my common ancestors William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. If I could identify Cluster 1, it should help to identify Cluster 2. I know that on of the matches in Cluster 1 has an unidentified Jane Frazer or Frazier in her tree. That means that Cluster 1 could be Frazer and Cluster 2 McMaster. This is important as I have at least three Frazers in my ancestry and at least two McMasters.

To accommodate this, I have lengthened my ancestor chart down to the 4th great-grandparent level:

This would be a theory to follow up on based on the fact that a match in Cluster 1 has a Frazer ancestor but no known McMaster ancestry.

Cluster 3

There are only three people in Cluster 3. Based on correspondence from someone with a private tree, our common ancestors are Simon Hathaway born 1711 and Hannah Clifton. That is two generations back from the extension I made on my cluster summary chart, so I’ll just add Cluster three to my Hathaway 4th great-grandparent.

Cluster 4

Cluster 4 brings into question my previous Parker Cluster. I had a match with at least one person in this cluster with a common ancestor going back our shared Parker ancestor in Nantucket. However, now there are two others in this clusters. One has an ancestor in County Roscommon where I had ancestors. Another person is from Australia. Now my match with the Parker ancestor also has an Irish ancestor. Perhaps this is the real match I should be looking at?

Cluster 5 – Spratt

In my 30 cM analysis Cluster 5 was also Spratt coincidentally. However, this new Cluster 5 goes back another generation and has split off the Clarke from the Spratt:

The new cluster 5 at the 25 cM threshold has moved from my 2nd great-grandparent level (Jane Spratt born  to my 3rd great-grandparent level. This is important as Spratt is my most severe brick wall.

Triangulating Spratt Trees in Cluster 5

My thought is that if I can find common ancestors in some of the trees represented by Cluster 5, I may find my common ancestors. First in order to not duplicate effort, I checked to see if I had an existing Spratt Tree. I did:

Unfortunately, I don’t remember who Ed, Deb and Helena are. I do note with interest a George Spratt who married a Jane McGuire. Could they be the parents of my Jane Spratt thought to be born about 1830? William and Christopher are also potential candidates.

My first match in Cluster 5 is Craig. I’ll add him to the tree:

Craig matches me with a healthy 33.9 cM of DNA. One question would be whether Christopher was married previous to marrying Margaret McKay.

Next in Cluster 5 is Deb. She is already on my chart and matches me with 34.1 cM of DNA. The last person in my Cluster 5 with a tree is Helena who again is already on my tree. She matches me at 25.2 cM.

This leads me to two theories:

  • I descend from Christopher Spratt and a first wife, or:
  • I descend from William Spratt born 1775 and then from one of his sons

In now see Ed and match him by 44.8 cM.

Here is another Cluster 5 Tree:

I’ll call this person Shar. She must be on the Margery Spratt Line:

The tree is now shaping up with DNA matches. Shar’s tree ended with Jane, but I assumed it was the same Jane Hayes that was in Helena’s tree. The good news is that I have the start of a good Spratt DNA project. The bad news is, I’m not much closer to knowing where Jane came from. It’s interesting how clearly this Cluster points to this genealogy, yet I don’t have the specifics. I’m slowly getting closer to the answer.

Clusters 6-9 – Irish, But Which Families?

I’ll start with Cluster 9 as Gladys is in that Cluster. I manage her DNA:

From what I can tell, James at the top married his cousin Violet Frazer. I could safely assign this Cluster to George W Frazer as Gladys has no known McMaster ancestry. I would like to go back at least another generation, but at this time, I can’t match up the genealogy of my other matches in this Cluster.

I don’t have a good guess for the other clusters other than possibly on the Clarke side.

Cluster 11 – Schwechheimer

Through hard work and diligence, I came up with a common ancestor for one of my three matches in Cluster 11:

However, this gets confusing. Rosine Schwechheim, my ancestor married a Gangnus. Also Rosine’s mother was a Gangnus. Technically, the common ancestor would be further out, but it is safe to say that the line on my side went through Rosine Schwechheimer.

Cluster 13 – Clarke

I know that I have a Clarke/Spratt common ancestor with two matches in this Cluster. I see another match with a person in this cluster but Patricia has a private tree. She has uploaded to Gedmatch:

Cluster 14 – Snell?

There are only three in this Cluster. One match has a tree that goes to Hannah Snell. She is probably the granddaughter of my ancestor Samuel Snell born 1708. I’ll stick this Cluster with a later Snell ancestor because I don’t want to extend my list too far:

This Anthony is Samuel’s grandson, so technically, I should have gone back another generation.

Cluster 15 Hartley English Side

This is a side I am interested in if it is Hartley English. There are three in the Cluster. I have looked at one tree with no luck. Perhaps looking at a second tree will help. The matchup seemed like it should be on Mark’s maternal side:

Here is the tree from the other person in Cluster 15:

Cluster 16 has only three also. The one person in Cluster 15 without a tree had a connection to Cluster 16.

Clusters 17 and 18

Cluster 17 is picking up in size which may mean my Snell side which has the Massachusetts background. I can’t find many good trees in this Cluster. Cluster 18 is large. Despite the size, I couldn’t find common ancestors and Ancestry didn’t suggest any.

Cluster 19

This is the Cluster I am in as well as my siblings, close relatives and second cousins. Two matches in the group have the common ancestors Snell and Bradford. One match has Greenwood Hartley and Ann Emmet. That means that this Cluster should be two Clusters.

These show in the same Cluster due to all my close relatives in this Cluster. I would split Cluster 19 like this:

The grey horizontally highlighted row is the Greenwood Hartley match. This is an important distinction for me as one side represents my English Hartley side and the other side represents my Colonial Massachusetts Snell side.

Clusters 20-27

  • 20 – probably MA Colonial
  • 21 – probably Irish
  • 22 – probably maternal grandfather
  • 23 – maternal grandfather. Some match my maternal cousin but not my mother, so that seems odd.
  • 24 – more maternal grandfather
  • 25 – The is a compound cluster. 25a is Lentz. 25b is Rathfelder. This was previously 14a, b, and c so the Nicholson cluster broke off this below
  • 26 – Nicholson
  • 27 – probably Irish

Summary of the 25 cM Clusters

Some splitting out of known clusters are interesting as they suggest descent from a specific older ancestor. This was the case with my ancestor Fanny McMaster where I was able to split out matches between her parents William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. Where I didn’t know the previous cluster, when these were split out it just split out to other clusters that I didn’t know.

The Parker Cluster was confusing. I had a common ancestor for two of the matches, but two other matches seemed to indicate that they didn’t have the same common matches. This could be the case where they match each other on a different line.

When I put the clusters into my summary chart, I am putting them in vertically. However, it is important to check vertically also to make sure the clusters are being picked up. I also looked into some genealogy. I filled out a share DNA Spratt tree. I don’t know where I fit in this tree, but I am all the more certain that I do fit into this particular tree, so that narrows down where I should be looking for genealogical clues.

It seems I need a better way of presenting the results of the clusters. Right now the results are very spread out do to the increasing numbers of ancestors. It would be possible to collapse these results to include only the ancestors with clusters, but that would omit all the ancestors that I don’t have clusters for.

20 cM – 50 Clusters

At the risk of making this a marathon Blog, I’ll look at my 50 Clusters down to 20 cM. This is the matching limit for AncestryDNA. Apparently this program can take the level lower, but the shared matching limit will still be at 20 cM. I expect some more of the same of what I found out above.

I see a problem already with Cluster 1. All the levels are below 25 cM. That makes it difficult to place this Cluster. One person in the Cluster has a tree of 5:

It may be possible to build this out, but it would be a low priority for me to do this right now. I don’t see this person on my mother’s match list, so I suspect this is a paternal match.

Cluster 2 has only four in it. Two are between 25 and 30 cM, but they did not form a Cluster under my 25 cM analysis.

Cluster 3 matches are all under 25 cM, but match my mother.

Clusters 6 and 7

The program split 6 and 7 strangely. Two of my sisters are in #6 and one in #7. My son is in Cluster 6 and my daughter in Cluster 7. What is more important is the splitting of Cluster 7:

This splitting is important to me as I am trying to find English Hartley ancestors who don’t have Snell ancestry. The larger part of Cluster 7 has Snell ancestry (outlined in green).

More Detail on Cluster 7b

There are 8 people in Cluster 7b. It also looks like 7b forms two clusters. My guess is that this represents Hartley and Emmet:

The first match in the Cluster is Kristen. I think we have been in touch, but I can’t find any Ancestry messages. Here is the connection:

The second on the list is Mark. I’ve been building out the part of his tree where I think there is a possibility we might match up. That is his maternal grandfather’s side:

Lucy Priestly died in Hull, but was born in Halifax which is a bit closer to where my ancestors lived.

Lucy’s mother Sarah Ann Wilson was the one born in the Halifax area. Here is Sarah Ann’s baptismal record from 1825:

My guess is that her mother could have been Susannah? Her father was a bookbinder. I didn’t make a genealogical connection between myself and Mark yet, but I will likely come back to his tree.

The next match is Arlene. She doesn’t have a tree, but I sent her a message.

The next match with Howard appears to be important:

Even though Howard doesn’t have a tree, It appears that he may descend from my Pilling ancestor:

I guess I hadn’t realized that two separate Wilkinson lines descended from Pilling. At any rate, my guess is that Howard descends from one of these two lines. I believe that on the right, next to Richard should be a Paul also. I don’t match Paul but some of my relatives do. As far as I know, the David Watson above isn’t closely related to William Wilkinson.

Another question I have for the above Cluster is whether Bessey should be included in the Cluster. I would guess not, because I have that Bessey’s ancestors are Snell and Bradford. Also Bessey is linked to Clusters 12 and 15.

A further point to consider is that Arlene and Howard appear to be in both sub-clusters above. Assuming that Howard is a Pilling match, that may mean that both sub-clusters are Pilling clusters. That could mean that one sub-cluster is more for Mary Pilling’s mother and the other for Mary’s father. However, that is just a guess. Mary’s parents were Greenwood Pilling and Nancy Shackleton:

Dave, Bruce, Mark and Michael

Dave and Michael have trees. I’ve been working on these trees, but haven’t found the connection yet. However, I see connections in the Greenwood surname. I haven’t found a Greenwood surname in my ancestry, but it may be there. Mary Pilling’s father was Greenwood Pilling. Mary’s son was Greenwood Pilling. Many of these genealogies seem to have West Riding connections but not to bordering Lancashire where my ancestors lived.

Summary and Conclusions

This could be a good place to stop. I want to continue this Blog as I have come up with a better way to present my results.

  • Walking the clusters back is a good way to look at your clusters.
  • This is a way of organizing your cluster, making sure you have contacted the important matches and making sure the clusters are placed in the right area of your genealogy.
  • I started my clusters with a 50 cM limit. From there I went to a 40 cM limit and went down by 5 cM increments until I got to 20 cM.
  • The clusters did a good job at identifying my most recent brick wall, Jane Spratt born about 1830 in Ireland. From there I was able to place Jane in the correct Spratt tree, though I could not tell for sure which branch she was from. This could further direct genealogical research.
  • I tried to connect other genealogies from other clusters with limited success.
  • I came to the realization through this analysis that I have DNA matches with two separate Wilkinson lines descending from my ancestor Mary Pilling.
  • As I walked these clusters back, some split cleanly into two parental clusters, some didn’t. Some unknown clusters split into further unknown cluster as might be expected.

To be continued….