Tag Archives: Family History

Picture Perfect Saturday #38 ~ Jessie Olene Hayes

I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

In honor of “Women’s History Month”, each Saturday this March I will be highlighting one of my female ancestors.

Jessie Olene Hayes,1895-1975 is my paternal 2nd cousin. She was born in Richmond, Woodward County, Oklahoma. On December 16, 1918, she married Leslie Irving Ray. This is a photo taken of her in her hat and veil on her wedding day. I wish I could see her full dress, but what I can see gives the appearance of handmade and modest. Also, very feminine with the lace. I really like her glasses, but I thin the thing that stands out the most is the look on her face. Considering she is getting married, she has a serene look on her face. It makes you wonder what she is thinking. Jessie went on to have 3 children, one son and two daughters. She was 77 years old when she died after 52 years of marriage.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Name’s the Same ~ 52 Ancestors #10

This prompt just so happened to fit into a blog I had already decided to write, so this one was really exciting. I have been noticing for a few years that when I am researching that I tend to find someone with a last name that I am sure is in one of my lines. So I will go to my default tree, my paternal side, and do a search for that name. When I find it, I am usually disappointed because this information doesn’t match any of my ancestors.

I have had the thought in the back of my mind for a long time about taking some time and comparing the last names of my ancestors between my paternal and maternal sides. I have put it off because of the numbers of ancestors that would be. Just on one side I could have as many as 2048 9x great grandparents and on both sides there could be 4098. Yes, I know that the chances of having all 4098 9x great grandparents found and documented are slim. Even if I had ¼ of them, that is still 1024 ancestors. It would become a daunting task.

Another hindrance to completing this task was the common names I found in my lines. One’s like Smith, Brown, Johnson, Jones, and the like. So what did I do? I decided I would pull up both trees, side by side, and compare some of the uncommon surnames in them. I also pulled up my notes to see which ancestor information I had previously investigated that turned out to not be mine. What an eye-opener.

In a matter of 40 minutes of just scanning through the lines I discovered 19 ancestors with the same surname in both trees. Yes, there were Smiths and Browns but there were also some with a less popular or common name. Here are a few:

1a) Hughes/Hayes: John Graves my 6th Great Grandfather was born in 1680 in Essex County, Virginia and died in 1747 in the same county.
1b) Smith/McGowan: John Graves my 10th Great Grandfather was born in 1589 in Nezeing, Essex County, England and died in 1644 in Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

2a) Hughes/Hayes: John Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in Isle of Wright, Virginia and died on April 23, 1726, in Chowan County, North Carolina.
2b) Smith/McGowan: Colonel George Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in 1653 in Surry County, Virginia and died in 1718 in the same county.

3a) Hughes/Hayes: Mary Towneley my 10th Great Grandmother was born on May 13, 1614, in England and died on August 11, 1662, at Warner Hall, Gloucester County, Virginia.
3b) Smith/McGowan: Alice Towneley my 9th Great Grandmother was born in 1675 in Gloucester County, Virginia, and died on January 1, 1710, in Middlesex County, Virginia.

4a) Hughes/Hayes: Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin was born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. He married Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.
4b) Smith/McGowan: Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin was born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. She married Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.

As you can see from the first ancestors they had the exact same name. Numbers 2 and 3 had an unusual surname with different given names. The last one shows how one cousin from my paternal side married a cousin from my maternal side.

I also went through a few names on my “could be related” list and discovered that several of them did fit into one of the trees, my maternal side.

“Names the Same” is truly the right name for this blog!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Filed under #52ancestors, 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks, Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Hayes Family, Hughes, McGowan Family, Smith, Uncategorized

Name’s the Same ~ 52 Ancestors #10

This prompt just so happened to fit into a blog I had already decided to write, so this one was really exciting. I have been noticing for a few years that when I am researching that I tend to find someone with a last name that I am sure is in one of my lines. So I will then go to my default tree, my paternal side, and do a search for that name. When I find it, I am usually disappointed because this information doesn’t match any of my ancestors.

I have had the thought in the back of my mind for a long time about taking some time and comparing the last names of my ancestors between my paternal and maternal sides. I have put it off because of the numbers of ancestors that would be. Just on one side I could have as many as 2048 9x great grandparents and on both sides there could be 4098. Yes, I know that the chances of having all 4098 9x great grandparents found and documented are slim. Even if I had ¼ of them, that is still 1024 ancestors. It would become a daunting task.

Another hindrance to completing this task was the common names I find in my lines. One’s like Smith, Brown, Johnson, Jones, and the like. So what did I do? I decided I would pull up both trees, side by side, and compare some of the uncommon surnames in them. I also pulled up my notes to see which ancestor information I had previously investigated that turned out to not be mine. What an eye-opener. Here are a few:

1a) Hughes/Hayes: John Graves my 6th Great Grandfather was born in 1680 in Essex County, Virginia and died in 1747 in the same county.
1b) Smith/McGowan: John Graves my 10th Great Grandfather was born in 1589 in Nezeing, Essex County, England and died in 1644 in Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

2a) Hughes/Hayes: John Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in Isle of Wright, Virginia and died on April 23, 1726, in Chowan County, North Carolina.
2b) Smith/McGowan: Colonel George Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in 1653 in Surry County, Virginia and died in 1718 in the same county.

3a) Hughes/Hayes: Mary Towneley my 10th Great Grandmother was born on May 13, 1614, in England and died on August 11, 1662, at Warner Hall, Gloucester County, Virginia.
3b) Smith/McGowan: Alice Towneley my 9th Great Grandmother was born in 1675 in Gloucester County, Virginia, and died on January 1, 1710, in Middlesex County, Virginia.

4a) Hughes/Hayes: Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin was born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. He married Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.
4b) Smith/McGowan: Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin was born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. She married Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.

As you can see from the first ancestors they had the exact same name. Numbers 2 and 3 had an unusual surname with different given names. The last one shows how one cousin from my paternal side married a cousin from my maternal side.

I also went through a few names on my “could be related” list and discovered that several of them did fit into one of the trees, my maternal side.

“Names the Same” is truly the right name for this blog!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Mondays for Me #58 ~ Number 400

Number 400. That is how many days in a row that I have written a blog. Last year before the end of January, things were going very bad in my life. My husband was very ill, and I was his sole caregiver. We had to prepare to move, my own heath was getting bad, and I was ready to give up on writing a blog that I had written for 6 years. Then I thought about the concept of New Year’s resolutions.

I then decided that for the next 365 days I would attempt to write a blog each day. I came up with a few weekly titles that I could write about. One’s like: “Thursday at the Cemetery”, “Sunday’s Salute” and “Hometown Tuesday”. To that I added the 52 Ancestors challenge by Amy Johnson Crow. I figured I could fill in the other three days with random blogs. It was difficult at first, but once I started I found I really enjoyed it. Soon I added other “titles” and I pressed forward.

Over the course of the year I had some people tell me that I should be more concerned about the quality of my blogs rather than the quantity. They were referring to my “Monday’s for Me” and the “Freaky Fridays” that I wrote. They also, reprimanded me for not citing sources. At first I was upset. I write solely about my family for myself and to connect with others who share my ancestors. All of my blogs will go into a book that I can give to my children, grandchildren and my great grandson. My daughter will have access to my trees so she will know where my information came from. So I ignored what had been said and pressed on.

At one point I did write more than one blog a day, so during the last 400 days I have written 427 blogs. It became a habit for me, something I really enjoy and actually look forward to every day. Since the first of the year I have thought about starting a new type of genealogy blog and I will need time to develop it. So, starting today I will be blogging only about 3 times per week. I am excited about this new adventure.

I have found so many wonderful friends, a ton of cousins and I have learned so much by writing these blogs. I look forward to sharing my “improved” blog with you in the near future.

OK, I know you many have discovered a couple of contradictory statements in the beginning of this blog. Yes, I did say I committed to writing blogs for 365 days in a row. I also called this blog number 400. That is because it is difficult to stop an addiction cold turkey, so when I got close to my goal I challenged myself to continue on till I hit the 400 mark. I hope I don’t get the shakes now and need a “write another blog” fix!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Filed under Ancestry, Blogging, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Monday's For Me, My Stories, Story telling, Uncategorized

Picture Perfect Saturday #37 ~ Matilda M. Divine

I am currently working on my Family Genealogy Group page for Facebook. In doing so I realized I have a tremendous amount of photos. I decided to feature one a week. No, not everyone is “perfect” however, they are to me!

In honor of “Women’s History Month”, each Saturday this March I will be highlighting one of my female ancestors.

This week I am showcasing this photo of my maternal 2nd Cousin, Matilda M. Divine with 2 of her daughters, Laura and Myrtle. Matilda was born on May 26, 1855, in Tennessee. She moved to Missouri with her family when she was 2 years old. She was raised in Dade County which was still a developing area at the time, and she learned to hunt and fish alongside her brothers. Matilda married Joseph K. West on March 25, 1875, at the age of 19. The couple moved to Cedarvale, Chautauqua County, Kansas 3 years later. They had 8 daughters and no sons, so Matilda taught all of them to fish and hunt. In this photo, taken in the early 1900s, you see that they are a little over dressed to be out hunting. It appears that they may have gone to Church first and decided to shot dinner afterwards without bothering to change their clothes. Just look at those furs and shoes! Left to right is Laura, Matilda, and Myrtle. Matilda and Myrtle are holding the rabbits and the three of them look as though they are pretty proud of themselves.I am sure they had rabbit stew for dinner.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Filed under Ancestry, Divine Family, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Kansas, Photos, Picture Perfect, Picture Perfect Saturday, Uncategorized

Spotlight on Female Ancestors #4 ~ Sarah Allen ~ Taken Captive

Sarah Marie Allen, my maternal 1st cousin 8 times removed, was born on May 1, 1692, in Deerfield, Massachusetts Colony. She was the 4th of 9 children born to Edward Allen Jr (1663-1740) and Mercy Painter (1664-1740). The following is an account of the events of her life from 1704 to 1764.

In the pre-dawn hours of February 29, 1704, during Queen Anne’s War, joint French and Indian forces (including 47 Canadians and 200 Abenaki, along with some Mohawk, Wyandot, and a few Pocumtuck, all under the command of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville) attacked the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts in what became known as the Raid on Deerfield. They razed much of the settlement and killed 56 colonists, including 22 men, 9 women, and 25 children. The attackers took 112 captives, including women and children, and forced them on a months-long trek to Montreal, nearly 300 miles to the north. Many died along the way; others were killed because they could not keep up.

Among those taken prisoner was 11-year old Sarah. The prisoners were marched from Deerfield to Montreal. It took them until April 25th to reach Fort Chambly. From here Sarah was taken to a settlement on the other side of the St, Lawrence River. She was kept here for a while before being sold to Jean Quenet, a Montreal merchant. One of his properties was at Baie D’Urfe and that is where Sarah was placed as a domestic servant.

Under enormous pressure, many of the captives converted to Catholicism including Sarah. On May 30, 1705, she was baptised by the Jesuits and renamed Marie Madeleine Helene at St Anne du Bout de I’lle before her appointed godparents Pierre Lamoureux and Etiennette Hurtubise, the wife of Jean Quenet, Sarah’s master.

The town of Deerfield quickly reestablished itself and Edward Allen Jr, Sarah’s father, was named town clerk. During the following three years John Sheldon was hired to led three expeditions to Canada to rescue the captives. Edward was a member of the third expedition in 1707. He was in Montreal in August of 1707. A war broke out between France and England while they were there, and they were prevented from completing their mission. There is no record that Edward found where Sarah was or what the result was. Sarah was living and working at the home of Jean Quenet at the time which was 10 miles west of Montreal.

Sometime in early 1710, Sarah, now known as Marie, met Guillaume Lalonde (1684-1752) whose family owned a farm near the Quenets’. He was a son of an immigrant from the Normandy region of France. On April 10, 1710, she married Guillaume and in May of that same year she was granted citizenship of New France, choosing to make her life in Canada and effectively cutting off any contact with New England and her family. To become a citizen Sarah had to agree to these terms: “they could not leave the country without express and written permission, nor be employed as go-betweens with foreigners on pain of forfeiting their right to citizenship.”

Sarah and Guillaume had 13 children, 9 sons and 4 daughters. During their lifetime they lived in the towns of Baie D’Urfe, Point Claire, Ile Perrot and Les Cedres in Soulange, Guillaume died in 1752 and Sarah died in 1764 at the age of 72. They were buried in the Parish Cemetery of St. Joseph de Soulange.

I can’t imagine the trauma and fear that little 11-year old Sarah endured on her forced trip up to Canada in the winter. She saw many people killed on this trek, some for being slow, some for being sic, and some for trying to escape. One 5 year old girl was killed because the man who carried her could not carry her and supplies at the same time. She must have lived in constant fear! She lived in “survival” mode, having been sold as soon as she arrived in Montreal and at the age of 16 she was forced to change religions in order to fit in. She also had to give up her name and her country to be able to live in peace. I believe that once she married and starting having children, she was able to begin enjoying her life. She was a very strong woman!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Here’s Your Sign #29 ~ Charles Simpson Medlin ~ Medlin Cemetery

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Medlin Cemetery

In 1847 Charles Medlin (1807-1864) and his wife Matilda (Allen) migrated from Missouri with their household and 20 other families to take up land grants on Denton Creek. Also in the wagon train and colony were Charles Medlin’s widowed mother and his brother Lewis. Floods broke up the first Medlin settlement, at times called “Garden Valley”, moving to higher grounds in this vicinity. The settlers formed a new neighborhood that was to grow into the town of Roanoke (1.5 miles west).
Charles Medlin;s daughter Mittie Ann (born 1828) admired the beauty of this hill, saying she would like to be buried here. The cemetery was opened at her death in April 1850. Her parents, 13 brothers and sisters, and many other close relatives also rest here along with neighbors and others from the locality. This is one of the oldest cemeteries in Denton County. In 1900 James W. Medlin, son of the original land donors, Charles and Matilda Medlin, enlarged the area to more than ten acres, and began selling lots to bring in maintenance funds. Medlin Cemetery Association was formed in 1947.
A new access boulevard and other improvements were provided for this cemetery in the 1970s.

Charles Simpson Medlin is my maternal 3rd Great Uncle.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Multiples ~ How Many Preachers Does it Take? ~ 52 Ancestors #9

In preparation for this week’s prompt, I had a lot of different “multiples” on my mind. There several sets of twins in my paternal side, one I wrote about for this prompt we had last year so I eliminated that one. My maternal Great Grandmother married 5 times, but I have also written about her! I decided to try to move in a different direction and I spent the morning scanning through my trees and voila!, there it was.

I noticed that there were a lot of ministers in my family. Not just on one side but on both sides. My paternal side had the most at 34, however my maternal side had the most in one family. Joseph Warder Sr. born in Charles, Maryland on December 5, 1752, was my 5th Great Grandfather. He had been raised as a Quaker, and his family faithfully attended services at the Third Haven Meetinghouse, also known as the Great Meetinghouse, in Easton, Maryland. It hosted one of the two annual Quaker meetings every year in the state of Maryland. It later became the site of all such meetings. It is the oldest church in Maryland, and one of the oldest churches in continuous use in the United States. On June 8, 1773, his father, William Warder died. 10 days later Joseph married Esther Ford (1755-1816). The newlywed couple immediately packed up and moved to Facquier County, Virginia.

Here Joseph felt the call of God on his life, but he shunned the religion of his father. He and Esther became Baptists, and were under the care of John Monroe, pastor of Thumb Run church. They raised six daughters and five sons. Joseph became a lay Pastor in the church, filling in for Reverend Monroe when he was out of town. His example touched 3 of his sons to also enter into the ministry, and they all 3 became Baptist Ministers. Two of his sons emigrated to Kentucky, so he followed them, with all the rest of his family, and settled in Barren county, about six miles from the present site of Glasgow, in the year 1807. Here he and those of his family who were professors of religion united with Dripping Spring Church.

John, the oldest son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia, on September 9, 1774. He united with Thumb Run church in his native county, and was baptized by the well-known William Mason. In early life he married Annie Elliot (1778) on December 24, 1794 , and they had eleven children. Their family moved to Kentucky in 1805. He was ordained a minister in 1811, and he took over as Pastor of Mount Pisgah Church. Annie died in June 1819, and John married Keziah Renick (1795-1870) and they also had 11 children! In 1825 he moved to Lafayette, Missouri, where he became pastor of Big Sni-a-Bar Church of “Regular Baptists.” In this position he was much loved and respected by his people, till he finished his earthly course, in great peace, November 16, 1857 at the age of 83. He lived a church member, without reproach, sixty-three years, and a preacher of the gospel forty-six years. His son Joseph became a respectable preacher, occupying the field left vacant by the death of his father.

William, the third son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia on January 8, 1786. In his 19th year, he came with his brother John to Barren County, Kentucky. A year later he gave his life to the Lord. He stayed there for about 2 years, then he returned to Virginia to help his parents and the remaining 9 children make the move to Kentucky. In 1809, he was licensed to preach by the church at the Mount Pisgah Church, and on March 24, 1811, he was ordained into the ministry. For about eight years after his ordination, he devoted himself to the work of an evangelist, with great zeal and activity, and he traveled and preached almost constantly, from Franklin, Tennessee, to Maysville, Kentucky. He preached in school houses, meeting houses, courthouses and, in warm weather, at “stages” erected in the woods, but even more common in the cabins of the settlers. He preached at all the principal towns in Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. In going from one of these to another, he would preach almost every day and night. Immense crowds often attended his services. In 1817, William Warder was sent as a messenger from the Kentucky Missionary Society, to the Baptist Triennial Convention, in Philadelphia. He made the journey on horse-back, in order that he might preach on the way. The distance was more than a thousand miles. In March 1820, he was called to the pastoral care of the Russellville Church, and soon afterwards accepted this same call to churches at Glasgow and Bowling Green. On December 25, 1821, he was married to Margaret A. Morehead. They had 2 sons. He now settled near Russellville, where he continued to devote himself to his holy calling. About 1830, William was thrown from a rig, and his ankle was so crushed that he had to preach, sitting on a chair, the remainder of his life. He died of a congestive chill, August 9, 1836, at the age of 50. His youngest son, Joseph continued his fathers ministry as an evangelist.

Walter, the fourth son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia, on December 13, 1787. He came with his father to Kentucky in his 20th year, where he began teaching school. His education was very limited, but while teaching it improved greatly. He and his brother William became Christians in the latter part of the winter, in 1807. They were both baptized the same day in April 1808. Walter came up out of the water a preacher. On December 7, 1808, he was married to Mary Maddox, and they had 1 son and 1 daughter. They joined the Mount Pisgah Church, where he was soon licensed to preach, and in 1811, he was ordained and became pastor of Dover Church, in Barren County. After preaching here and in the surrounding country for about three years, he accepted a call to Mays Lick Church, in Mason county. There is too much that is written and said about Walter to include it here. He is credited with stirring up a revival in Mays Lick where his church grew to over 800 people, an astounding amount for that time and location. In March of 1836, he made a trip to Missouri to visit his older brother John. While there he became ill with pneumonia and died on April 6, 1836, at the age of 48. He was buried in a Lafayette County cemetery. His congregation paid to have the body exhumed and it was brought back to Kentucky, and he is buried in the burial grounds in Mays Lick. His son also followed him into the ministry.

From this one family came multiple preachers. Each following generation up to our current time has had a descendant of Joseph Warder who became a minister.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Filed under #52ancestors, 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks, Ancestry, Christianity, Church, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Joseph Warder Sr, Kentucky, Uncategorized, Virginia

Hometown Tuesday #42 ~ Hingham, Suffork County, Massachusetts Colony

The town of Hingham, Massachusetts Colony was called “Bare Cove” by the first colonizing English in 1633. Two years later it was incorporated as a town under the name “Hingham” after the city in England where most of the settlers were from. The town was within Suffolk County from its founding until 1803, and then was in Plymouth County from 1803 to the present.

Hingham was born of religious dissent. Many of the original founders were forced to flee their native village in Norfolk England with both their vicars, Rev. Peter Hobart and Rev. Robert Peck, when they fell away from the strict doctrines of the Anglican Church in England. Peck was known for what the eminent Norfolk historian Rev. Francis Blomefield called his “violent schismatic spirit.” Peck lowered the chancel railing of the church, in accord with Puritan sentiment that the Anglican church of the day was too removed from its parishioners. He also antagonized ecclesiastical authorities with other forbidden practices.

Although the town was incorporated in 1635, the colonists didn’t get around to negotiating purchase from the Wampanoag, the Native American tribe in the region, until three decades later. On July 4, 1665, the tribe’s Chief Sachem, Josiah Wompatuck, sold the township to Capt. Joshua Hobart and Ensign John Thaxter, representatives of Hingham’s colonial residents. Having occupied the land for 30 years, the Englishmen presumably felt entitled to a steep discount.


Josiah Wompatuck

The American Otises of the seventeenth century were of English descent. The emigration of the family from Barnstable, Devon, England occurred during the early days when the settlements in New England were still infrequent and weak. Arriving in 1635, the John Otis Sr. family was among the first to settle at the town of Hingham. It wasn’t long until the name Otis appeared in the public records, indicating official rank and .leadership. He purchased over 60 acres of land, building two houses and a barn. He grew corn on 35 acres of this land. John, born in 1581, and his first wife Margaret (1583-1653), along with their seven daughters and two sons, settled into the larger of the two homes. John was made selectman for the town, a position he held until the death of his wife in 1653.

He then married a widow by the name of Elizabeth Whitman Stream (1592-1672) and he sold most of his land, leaving 30 acres to be divided between his 2 sons. He then moved to Weymouth, Massachusetts. He died there in June 1657, at the age of 76.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Hingham Massachusetts, Home Town Tuesday, Hometown Tuesday, John Otis, Massachuettes, Uncategorized

Mondays for Me #57 ~ In the Garden

When we moved from the desert of Arizona to the lush, green State of Missouri, I was what could be called “gardening ignorant”. It was difficult to learn much about growing fruits or vegetables in the extreme heat of the Southwestern summers. I was 12 years old and I had never grown anything except cactus.

My parents bought a small house in Independence that had ½ an acre for the backyard. To me it was enormous! My Dad was so excited to plant a garden, and I was anxious to help. That first summer it was a “small” garden, at least by my Dad’s perspective. He and I dug up the ground and made the rows for the various vegetables that we were going to plant. We sowed carrot, cucumber, lettuce, radish, peas, corn, and green bean seeds. We made a trip to the nursery, and we came back with tomato plants and some blackberry bushes. I really had fun with the entire process.

Over the summer I helped to hoe the garden and tie up the tomato, peas, and green bean plants. I can still remember how excited I was when I saw the first little vegetable growing on the vine. I was a little confused when my Dad took me to the grocery store and told me we needed to find a bag of potatoes with lots of “eyes” on them. We had always avoided that type before. When we got home he showed me how to cut the “eyes” off and plant them in the ground, and he told me we were going to grow new potatoes. Yeah, right! We also had three large, well established peach trees standing side by side in the yard. I was fascinated with their bright pink blooms that smelled so good. Everything was coming to life with very minimal effort. In Arizona my Dad planted two peach trees and one apricot tree. During the summer they had to be watered every day and fertilized often. In the twelve years we lived there, we only got six peaches and one apricot from the trees.

June came and the backyard was full of things to eat. The first things to ripen were the peaches! Each tree was hanging low with fruit in different stages of ripeness. We picked so many for us, and I probably ate the majority of them. I just loved them. We soon had some of our relatives come over and pick as many as they wanted. Then my Aunt Margaret came and helped me pick enough to can. I had never done this before so it was a treat. Finally, my Dad put a notice in the newspaper for “free peaches”, and after several people came and picked what they wanted, we still had fruit on the trees!

We also had an abundance of other vegetables that could be canned. Again, my aunt came and taught me about each requirement for the various ones. We spent several days canning and talking. It was a very special time. It also felt good to have contributed to food stored up for the winter.

The potatoes where the last crop we dealt with. I was amazed at how many had grown from those little “eyes”. It was fun to dig in the dirt and not get yelled at! My Dad loaded the potatoes into the bed of the truck, and we drove them into Kansas City to my aunts home, and we stored them in her basement covered in lye. We all had potatoes for the next 9 months. This was a good experience for me. I learned a lot about how to plant and grow anything I wanted and I learned both patience and hard work.

When Autumn came and the temperature got colder, I missed the excitement of gardening. One day I was waling in the yard and I noticed a lot of hard round balls laying under a very tall tree on the south side of our house. I really never paid attention to it, it was only a tree! I picked one up and brought it to my Dad. He told me the tree was a black walnut tree. He and I then went outside and picked up a few of the balls, and we used a knife to open the outer casing of the nut. Once that was done, we had a walnut in a shell like I had seen in the grocery stores. To be honest, I didn’t like the process. It seemed like too much trouble, especially since walnuts were not my favorite nut at the time. My Dad did enjoy sitting in his chair and coaxing the nut to come out!

The next year we did the same, only this time the blackberry bushes gave us an abundance of fruit. Because of this, and the above mentioned peaches, these two became my two favorite fruits.

When we had to sell our home and move to California I felt so bad for my Dad. He seemed to thrive in this environment and I knew he would miss it. When we left Missouri, we were able to leave a lot of the produce with our relatives. This two and a half years were some of the best of my childhood!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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